INTRODUCING THE DWIGHTS (Cherie Nowlan). 108 minutes. Opens Friday (July 13). Rating: NN
Set against the backdrop of Sydney's B-level entertainment scene, director Cherie Nowlan's mostly uncomfortable drama centres on the dynamic between a once-famous mother and her embarrassed teenage son.
Brenda Blethyn offers a warmer version of her Little Voice character as Jean Dwight, a past-her-prime British comedienne. Her children, Tim (Khan Chittenden) and his disabled brother Mark (Richard Wilson), struggle to maintain a normal life while their mother rehearses ribald sex skits and runs from audition to audition. When Tim falls for an independent girl (a fresh-faced Emma Booth), Jean worries that her whole world will fall apart.
At its core the film is a teenage romance, which is problematic since Blethyn's is the only character worth watching. She conveys profound sadness with every line and movement. Chittenden, on the other hand, mumbles his lines as if sleepwalking. And Keith Thompson's script does the young lovers no favours; Tim and his girlfriend are so poorly matched, you wonder how they can stand each other's company. Eventually, the whole family becomes tiresome and unpleasant to watch.
A shameless ending doesn't help matters.