The Castle

Bomb Rating: 

This is a cheapo Australian film that looks like it was made with a video camera. It takes "quaint" to that sort of uncomfortable level where admiring the resiliency of a poor but proud family mutates into the desperate hope that any newfound wealth won't lead them into moving next to you.

The title refers to the old saying "A man's home is his castle," an idea that the Kerrigans of Cooloroo, Australia, take way too far. Basically, they're a family of proud morons, which is apparently supposed to be endearing. Every aspect of life is something to behold. Thus patriarch Darryl (Michael Caton) revels in his wife's (Anne Tenney) mediocre cooking, son Steve's (Anthony Simcoe) bargain-hunting, and whatever else can distract him from the realization he's dumber than a bag of hair.

They live right next to an airport, and Darryl couldn't figure out when he bought the place why it was such a bargain, because no one sat him down and explained that huge zoomzooms = noise. This is what's supposed to be endearing about him. He's a blithering idiot with tremendous pride in his stupidity, which means you can bet that he and his dullard wife are as fertile as roaches. Naturally, when the airport wants to expand and uses the law to force the Kerrigans out, Darryl won't budge. Not for any amount of money. Hell, he's too busy breedin'.

The limited scope of the Kerrigans' lives is supposed to be funny, but it's really just kind of depressing. They are creatures of habit, and as a result, much of the film's humor relies on how many times somebody can repeat a particular phrase. Darryl asks Steve how much somebody wants for something, then responds, "He's dreamin'." This happens about a dozen times with about a dozen different phrases -- by which time I really wanted to beat the lot of them to death with a thesaurus. The real world is filled with enough idiots. I don't need my cinematic worlds filled with them too.

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