This week's choice for Friday Film Night, chosen by Jeannie Watt, is a 2003 Australian romantic comedy starring Rhys Ifans.
I almost didn’t watch this film because of the title, but I’m a Rhys Ifans fan, so I figured what the heck? My kids—who were also highly suspicious of any movie with the word “deckchair” in the title—and I ended up being quite entertained.
Danny Morgan (Rhys Ifans) is an Australian cement truck driver and construction worker who is becoming increasingly disenchanted with his life. He’s an idea guy and spends his free time working on whacky experiments as a way to escape his mundane existence. No takes the experiments—or Danny, for that matter—seriously, so he feels alone and unappreciated.
Danny’s live-in girlfriend, Trudy is also frustrated with her existence. Trudy dreams of fame and fortune, but instead works in a real estate office and lives with a cement truck driver. Danny is adequate as far as boyfriends go, but he is not her dream man. When Trudy blows off a camping trip that Danny has been planning for a year in order to work, Danny is upset. When he discovers the real reason she won’t go on the trip is because she’s secretly meeting with a handsome celebrity sports reporter—a man she believes could help her go places—he’s done.
To make a point about his trip during a barbecue with friends that evening, he ties helium balloons to his deckchair and then accidentally lifts off. He rises high into the sky, sailing into a thunderstorm that carries him across the continent to the rural community of Clarence, where he drops into Glenda (Miranda Otto) Lake’s backyard.
Glenda is the town meter maid/spinster and has given up on finding a decent man. She lives alone and people talk about her. When Danny lands in her backyard, neighbors come to investigate and Glenda impulsively introduces the disheveled stranger as one of her old college professors who dropped in on her.
Suddenly, now that people think he’s a professor, Danny’s ideas are being taken seriously. And he’s taking himself seriously. He makes a new life in Clarence and he and Glenda realize that they are very attracted to one another. Glenda hasn’t asked about his past and Danny hasn’t volunteered any information. They are both happier living in the here and now. Meanwhile, back at home, Trudy—much to her delight—is garnering a great deal of media attention as she looks for Danny with the aid of her sportscaster beau, who also enjoys the attention.
Everyone would, of course, be happiest if things continued as they were—Danny living under his new identity, Trudy basking in her newfound fame as she searches for Danny, and Glenda enjoying the attention of a decent fellow for once. But of course Danny’s secret does come out and everyone has to deal with it—especially Glenda, who feels betrayed and sends Danny packing.
There are no real surprises in this film,but the characters are charming and the plot just quirky enough that I didn’t care. I thoroughly enjoyed Danny and Glenda's journey to HEA and I’d watch Danny Deckchair again in a heartbeat.
Jeannie Watt's latest release is Just Desserts, the last book of her Harlequin Superromance series Cooking Up Trouble.