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The Illustrated Family Doctor (2005)

  Directed by: Kriv Stenders
Written by: David Snell, Kriv Stenders
Starring: Colin Friels, Samuel Johnson
Links: The Illustrated Family Doctor on the IMDb, Official site
Genre: Drama
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2005 (nominee)

This movie gets: 3.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Give this one a miss" - a review by pearly

Gary Kelp (Samuel Johnson) works for a publisher, where he is tasked with creating a book called The Illustrated Family Doctor, a collection of gruesome photos and self-help advice about any number of afflictions. Kelp is a lethargic, unmotivated office worker who begins to suffer from many of the things about which he is supposed to be writing. His life takes a turn for the bizarre as the course of the film goes on, and the character of Ray (Colin Friels), his senior at work, provides both fuel to his fire, and a calming effect at different times.

The Illustrated Family Doctor is a black comedy, however, I did not find it in the least bit funny. Given its cast, which is not out-of-this-world awesome, but is certainly serviceable, I expected to get a lot more from the film than I did. I found that the whole thing dragged, it was not cohesive, and it didn't give me anything worthwhile.

Kelp is not a likeable character. Johnson heads further down the path towards being typecast as the bedraggled slacker which started with his role as Evan in television's The Secret Life of Us. But at least Evan had a bit of charm about him.

Friels is not really given anything to do with the role to make himself stand out. He's far from my favourite Australian actor, but he's generally pretty good, so you'd hope that he could bring the film up a notch, but he doesn't manage it. Likewise Sacha Horler, who I am quite fond of, but whose part was only small, and fairly unremarkable.

I really can't find many redeeming factors about this film. It was dull, all over the place as far as story goes, and left me feeling totally meh. Australia is definitely capable of producing quality films, but this is not such an example.

pearly gives this movie 3 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 1 Apr 2005

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