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The Occasional Movie Review

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Here’s one that’ll curl your whiskers.

Last night’s movie was Kenny. Now, to be fair, Netflix only said I’d give it a 3.2, which wasn’t far off, because I gave it a 3 star rating simply because I couldn’t find a reason to not like it. But all the way through, I kept asking myself “who would even think of this as a movie idea?”

Kenny is a divorced man who works for a large Australian porta-potty supplier. And while he’s a true professional at what he does, he’s also a simple man, who believes he’s found his vocation, tries to spend as much quality time as he can with his son (who lives with Kenny’s ex-wife), and has a troubled relationship with his father.

And through the mockumentary film, Kenny proves over and over that he’s probably the most knowledgeable man about his business in the company he works for, and perhaps even in all of Australia.

Then Kenny’s boss throws him for a loop by sending him to an international porta-potty convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Kenny finds himself on his first business trip, first airplane flight, first voyage outside of Australia, and all with a box of his first personalized business cards. Sure, he’s acting almost like a kid on his first airplane flight, but then he notices the flight attendants discussing a clogged toilet in business class (where Kenny’s seat is). Kenny ignores them when they insist that it will be fixed once they land and he fixes the toilet himself, prompting a friendship with a stewardess who ends up showing him around Nashville for a couple of days. (Honestly, I had no idea that Qantas had flights from Melbourne to Nashville.)

But in the process of making his way around the convention, Kenny manages to almost stumble into making the sale of luxury porta-potty units to some Japanese businessmen who will be holding an event which needs these VIP temporary toilets.

Even after Kenny has to cut his trip short because his father had an ulcer attack and was hospitalized, the sale to the Japanese earns him an offer of a promotion, which forces Kenny to reevaluate his life and decide if he’s after the power and prestige of the promotion, which would move him to a desk job in Sydney, or whether he wants to keep doing what he’s doing: transporting, cleaning and renting out portable toilets.

This is one of those movies that made me wonder how it got made. It’s a simple story, very simply done, and at that, it’s very well done for what it is. But it’s almost a throw-away film: nothing here is new, nothing is unique, except for the fact that Kenny works in a job that almost all of us wouldn’t want anything to do with, and he relishes his job.

It’s not a great movie, and it’s not entirely a good movie, but like I said at the top, it isn’t a bad movie either, and because of that, I had to give it 3 stars.

Mad Men update: I’m over halfway through with the first season and I’m finding that even the minor characters in the show aren’t likable, either. But I have discovered that the show is very well done: the setting and the time of the show are entirely believable, the writing is good, and the acting is pretty good as well. Even though I haven’t finished the first season yet, I feel that I can recommend it as at least worth watching by many of you.

See you tomorrow.