With the Adelaide Film Festival starting in October, we decided to hit the streets in an attempt to discover what some of the city’s favourite Australian comedy films are. We found some awesome people to chat with in places such as the Garden of Unearthly Delights, the Royal Croquet Club, WOMADelaide and the Adelaide Festival.
One of the most popular choices amongst the public was P.J. Hogan’s Muriel’s Wedding, which details a social outcast (played by Toni Collette), who steals money from her parents in an attempt to finance a vacation where she longs to find happiness and perhaps, even love. One guest remarked: “Muriel’s Wedding was one of those films that spoke to me.” The film was a box office juggernaut when it released back in 1994. The movie, off of a budget of $9 million, went on to gross over $57 million worldwide. Funnily enough, Alien and Gladiator director, Sir. Ridley Scott considers the movie one of his all-time favourites.
Another favourite was Baz Luhrmann’s debut feature, Strictly Ballroom. Much like Muriel’s Wedding, this film was a massive Australian success story, sweeping audiences the world over, making over $80 million worldwide. The film tells of a ballroom dancer; whose maverick style earns him the disdain of the more conventionally-minded colleagues. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest Australian films ever made. The film also marked the first entry in Luhrmann’s Red Curtain Trilogy, which also includes Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!
And of course, how can you discuss Australian comedies without mentioning Rob Stitch’s masterpiece that is, The Castle? Released in 1997, The Castle became a pop-culture phenomenon and has only grown since. Stitch’s movie details a working-class family in Melbourne, who are forced to move out of their family home as the nearby airport is looking to expand. The movie has been lauded by critics and audiences the world over, as many find its unapologetically Australian style as nothing short of magnificent.
Watch the full video above.