50 Ways Of Saying Fabulous

"Good"

50 Ways Of Saying Fabulous Review


50 Ways of Saying Fabulous, an odd and somewhat whimsical period piece set in rural New Zealand in the hot summer of 1975, ponders the confusing sexual awakenings of effete Billy (Andrew Patterson) and his best friend, the tomboyish Louise (Harriet Beattie). At the age of 12, they're not only puzzled by their new impulses but also puzzled by the kinds of things that trigger them.

Though on the surface everything looks idyllic as Billy and Lou bicycle madly across the countryside and attend a one-room schoolhouse, there's a dark undercurrent. Billy is bullied by town toughs (Louise, a rugby player, is his protector), and there's the sense that the parents of this town practice some very tough love.

When a new boy, the slightly hatchet-faced Roy (Jay Collins, who looks rather like Gareth from the British version of The Office), arrives from the city and enters school, the kids circle the wagons and brand him as an intolerably weird outsider. Only Billy is kind to the bashful Roy, and Roy interprets that kindness as a romantic overture. Although everyone in the school calls everyone else a "poofter," no one knows what it means. But as Roy introduces Billy to the mysteries of onanism in a dark barn, Billy starts to get the idea and wonders if he, too, shouldn't push Roy away.

Billy suffers even more emotional turmoil upon the arrival of Jamie (Michael Dorman), the new farm hand. A strapping young man who exudes glamour and excitement, he's instantly Billy's object of idol worship, and Billy's attempts to insinuate himself into Jamie's life get creepier and creepier. And Roy suffers physical abuse from his brute of a father. Despite the merry music and moments of humor, 50 Ways is not all sunshine on the farm.

This disconnect between comedy and grim reality hurts the film. Online commenters complain that novel on which it's based is far superior, which may suggest that writer/director Stewart Main had too much source material to work with and made some bad choices in cutting the book down to size for his screenplay. How should we really feel about Billy's predicament? Even as the movie ends, you'll still be wondering.

DVD Note: The disc includes an interesting day-by-day documentary of the tortured production of the film, most of which was shot outdoors in uncooperative weather. Another big problem: star Andrew Patterson, an exceedingly fragile boy whose many accidents and injuries kept forcing the production to shut down.

Does this glass bubble helmet make me look fat?



50 Ways Of Saying Fabulous

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd June 2006

Box Office Worldwide: $4.8 thousand

Distributed by: Olive Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Stewart Main

Producer: Michele Fantl

Starring: Andrew Paterson as Billy / Lana, Harriet Beattie as Lou / Brad, Jay Collins as Roy, Georgia McNeil as Babe

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.