Saturday, August 23, 2008
OK. I had my misgivings about seeing, "Kenny." This mockumentary, set in the world of waste management, had the potential to be the grossest of gross out flicks. My stomach wasn't up for it. I was pleasantly surprised by his sweet natured, hilarious film. Certainly, there are plenty of ripe Australian euphemisms for poop. But filmmakers Clayton and Shane Jacobson wisely chose to steer clear of the big chunks and focus on the human aspects.
OK. I have a crush on Kenny. (Shane Jacobson) What's not to like about a brawny Australian bloke who philosophizes and cracks wise about the trials of maintaining porta potties during festival season.
"It takes a certain kind of person to do what I do... No-one's ever impressed, no-one's ever fascinated.... If you're fireman, all of the kids will want to jump in back of the truck and follow you to a fire. There's going to be no kids willing to do that with me. So, I don't do it to impress people. It's a job, it's my trade, and I actually think I'm pretty good at it. "
Kenny is just a decent bloke with a real camaraderie with his co-workers on the splash down crew. He takes pride in doing a good job. And somehow manages to keep his dignify in the most undignified situations. He treats others with kindness and respect even when it isn't reciprocated. After he retrieves a wedding ring from the toilet, the relieved women doesn't even acknowledge her knight with slimy plunger. Kenny is sorely in need of a little respect.
Unfortunately, there is no respite at home. He is separated from his domineering wife and she has custody of their son. She shows open disdain for Kenny's chosen profession - even though it allows him to be close to his son. Still, Kenny awkwardly encourages his pre-teen to speak respectably to his mother.
Kenny does his best to gain his family's respect. He spends his whole day off taking his son to see his grandfather. Grandpa then spends the entire visit berating Kenny for being a "glorified turd burglar" in ear shot of the boy. But the true test of character comes when Kenny is forced to bring his son to work with him on one of the busiest days of the year.
This premise may be a little thin for a feature length film, but there are always strange new festivals and sewage dilemmas to keep it interesting - if not fresh. For instance, the splash down crew must deal with drunken car rally enthusiasts tipping over potties.
Kenny is finally rewarded for his hard work with a trip to Nashville for a fancy Porta Potty Convention. It came as no surprise to me when a pretty stewardess gets a crush on our boy. (Of course, he is too naive to see it.)
Director Clayton Jacobson puts it best, " He's the Dalai-Lama of waste management - eternally optimistic and always ready to put others before himself. Kenny represents the humbling nature of common decency."
Hey, if you still believe in human decency, please, show the poor guy a little respect and check out "Kenny."
For a trailer, go to:http://www.kennythemovie.com/