Ruben Guthrie: alcohol unplugged

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Do you have a drinking problem?

Ruben Guthrie sure has, as do many Australians it seems.

So is it genetic, cultural or simply a lack of self-control?

These questions are relentlessly explained in Brendan Cowell’s energetic, some would say explosive, new movie.

Ruben is a highly successful advertising creative. Too successful, some might say as he undervalues his career achievements and relationships in a serious attempt to drink himself into oblivion. After a near fatal incident his girlfriend leaves him with an ultimatum – to give up drinking for a year. So he heads off to Alcoholics Anonymous to work his way through the 12 steps over the next 365 days. Along the way he meets temptation in all its glorious iterations. Reuben’s journey is painful, painstaking and hilarious.

A stellar cast that includes Robyn Nevin and Jack Thompson delivers sparkling wit and superb acting from go to woe. And the younger stars are just as amazing, with Abby Lee as a drop-dead gorgeous supermodel Zoya, Harriet Dyer as reformed addict Virginia and the glorious Alex Dimitriades as Reuben’s gay mate Damian.

And then, another star is the city of Sydney itself. Rarely has it looked more gorgeous – or seemed more shallow. But the movie really belongs to Patrick Bramwell who plays Ruben – the not-so-tough man about town. Cowell’s movie is a highly intelligent expose of urban Australian culture where a drink seems to be the currency of everyday life. Whether at work or home, with sport, friends, or family, a drink is necessary to communicate. And the more you drink, the better you can communicate. Really???

Ruben Guthrie dances on the edge of this modern day dilemma and Cowell is to be applauded for his insightful explanation of our highly dangerous ‘Aussie’ addiction.

We loved it!

Here’s the film trailer.

Written by Kaye Fallick


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