Set in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand this movie is something of a departure for the Kiwi film industry, which is perhaps better known for its Oscar-winning fantasy franchises, featuring little folk living in holes in the ground. But that's no reason not to have a crack at a Romantic comedy.
The film is enjoyable on plenty of levels, not least the Queen music which punctuates the story. The male lead is Kiwi comic Rhys Darby, who I'd not seen before and his match is Brit Sally Hawkins, who was brilliant as Anne Eliot in 'Persuasion' and has been in countless goodish films ever since. Hawkins is the star here, playing a fairly strait-laced 35 year-old vet & mum opposite the rather oafish, immature character, played by Darby. They meet after he takes in an injured shellduck that crash-lands on the roof of his bungalow. The supporting cast all locally cast are excellent, especially the young lad, Beck Taylor who plays Hawkins' son, and there are some great locations, including a recent NZ vs Oz cricket test match.
The duck features a lot in the story-line, rather too often in my view (unless you are really fascinated by ducks), but the writer has tried hard to make this first and foremost a comedy, and it just about works on that level. There are plenty of funny moments amidst the emotional turmoils between the two leads, which, I have to say was mostly driven by the classy Hawkins.
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