Mental (2012)

Mental
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Strong coarse language and themes

Director: P.J. Hogan
Actors: Toni Collette, Liev Schreiber, Anthony LaPaglia, Kerry Fox, Rebecca Gibney, Caroline Goodall, Deborah Mailman, Bethany Whitmore, Nicole Freeman, Malorie O'neill, Lily Sullivan

A charismatic, crazy hothead transforms a family's life when she becomes the nanny of five girls whose mother has cracked from her husband's political ambitions and his infidelity.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 116mins
Origin: AUSTRALIA
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Mad house
by Jess Lomas,

The similarities between P.J. Hogan and Toni Collette’s first collaboration, Muriel’s Wedding, and their latest, Mental, are blindingly obvious, yet the latter fails spectacularly to match the heart and laughs of the 90s hit that took Australia by storm. In Mental, Rebecca Gibney plays Shirley Moochmore, mother of five girls, wife to the womanising local mayor Barry (Anthony LaPaglia), and resident of the Queensland seaside town Dolphin Heads (it’s no Porpoise Spit) where her family sticks out like a sore thumb. Shirley sings songs from The Sound of Music in the backyard and dreams of transforming her family into the Von Trapps before she’s sent to “Wollongong” to receive treatment, leaving her teenage daughters in need of a carer. With Barry preoccupied with his re-election, coupled with...

The similarities between P.J. Hogan and Toni Collette’s first collaboration, Muriel’s Wedding, and their latest, Mental, are blindingly obvious, yet the latter fails spectacularly to match the heart and laughs of the 90s hit that took Australia by storm.

In Mental, Rebecca Gibney plays Shirley Moochmore, mother of five girls, wife to the womanising local mayor Barry (Anthony LaPaglia), and resident of the Queensland seaside town Dolphin Heads (it’s no Porpoise Spit) where her family sticks out like a sore thumb. Shirley sings songs from The Sound of Music in the backyard and dreams of transforming her family into the Von Trapps before she’s sent to “Wollongong” to receive treatment, leaving her teenage daughters in need of a carer. With Barry preoccupied with his re-election, coupled with his inability to remember his kids' names, he brings home hitchhiker Shaz (Collette) to be their nanny. She’s rough around the edges, smokes a bong, carries a knife, and is accompanied by a nasty dog, but perhaps she is just what the girls, and the Moochmore family, need.

Shaz’s mission is to help the girls embrace what makes them different and what sets them apart from the rest of the town, going up their against obsessive compulsive neighbour Nancy (Kerry Fox) and Shirley’s doll-collecting sister Doris (Caroline Goodall). What the Moochmore’s don’t discover until later is Shaz’s own mission, tied to her dark past with the local shark hunter Trevor (Liev Schreiber, adopting a very convincing Aussie accent).

While Mental is, on the whole, a somewhat entertaining film, it suffers from several issues. Coming in at almost two hours, it's decidedly too long. Not even the great performances from the likes of Lily Sullivan, who plays the eldest Moochmore daughter Coral, and Deborah Mailman, who steals the show as mental patient and Shaz’s friend Sandra, can save this uneven and cluttered picture. Collette’s performance only adds to the caricatured nature of this movie, from her over-the-top ocker accent to the general lack of believability in her character and her motivations. She delivers some laughs but the lacklustre script doesn't give her much of an opportunity to shine. Dealing with issues of mental health, the absence of the father, and the children’s journey as they search for their own identities, Mental is a low-brow comedy in need of a ruthless edit as it prioritises cheap laughs over a well-structured story.

2.5/5

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Member Reviews (92)

ok
Posted Tuesday, 22 July 2014 See my other reviews
sher
says
Engaging and shocking in places with quirky characters and interesting story.
Posted Sunday, 8 June 2014 See my other reviews
Toni Collette is terrific as a warped Mary Poppins, great acting from all the cast. Hilarious but also heart-felt, made me proud to be an Aussie - we're all a little bit mental lol ^.^ Two thumbs up
Posted Friday, 9 May 2014 See my other reviews
De
says
What a hoot! Great Aussie entertainment! Fantastic acting by all. So its a little ocker but so very classic. If you like this type of thing then you will enjoy this movie.
Posted Saturday, 22 February 2014 See my other reviews
Lynnie
says
Loved it. Crazy quirky and fun to watch. Sure there were elements of Muriel's Wedding but we loved that too. How awesome was Liev Schreiber? An American Jew who had the Aussie accent down pat. Could not fault it once. It was perfect in its understatement. All the young girls were great. Love seeing LaPaglia playing an Aussie too. Usually love Toni. She was a little over the top here but still loved the movie.
Posted Saturday, 28 December 2013 See my other reviews
Gareth
says
OMG! What were these respected actors doing taking on this shocking script. It will come back to haunt them for years. A real shocker of an Aussie film, difficult to even give it any stars at all.
Posted Saturday, 14 December 2013 See my other reviews
Letitia
says
Terrible
Posted Friday, 29 November 2013 See my other reviews
Senorita K
says
I am really worried about our Toni Collette, she does "crazy" so marvelously!! The whole cast were wonderful in this VERY mental movie. Rebecca's character was so well played, portraying mental illness with all it's ups and down, and how it effects family members etc ,so very real. Actually I thought it was quite sad in parts, but did also laugh out loud at some of the antics.
Posted Thursday, 28 November 2013 See my other reviews
K.
says
Oh dear. Not one of Australian films better efforts. Some good talent wasted in a very disjointed, Muriel's Wedding-esque storyline. A worthwhile message explored so distastefully at times that I ended up switching it off.
Posted Friday, 22 November 2013 See my other reviews
So, so horrible. I made it through 20 minutes before I couldn't stand the agony anymore. If you like cringe comedy and crassly insulting absolutely everyone then it is right up your alley.
Posted Monday, 18 November 2013 See my other reviews
one of the best Aussie comedy's I have seen in a while, up there with the castle, muriel's wedding and priscilla. I thought it was going to be a shocker!
Posted Thursday, 17 October 2013 See my other reviews
not good at all
Posted Monday, 12 August 2013 See my other reviews
Very disappointing. I only rented the movie because it scored some good reviews on the internet. It turned out to be really cr*p
Posted Tuesday, 6 August 2013 See my other reviews
Miss Melis
says
Sorry, the humour escaped me.................and also this movie !!!!!!!!!!! Pure, unadulterated c**p. I cannot believe Rebecca Gibney lowered herself to this level, let alone the other Australian actors.
Posted Thursday, 1 August 2013 See my other reviews
christinej
says
Loved it. All the quirky Aussie actors made it a delight to watch.
Posted Thursday, 1 August 2013 See my other reviews
Pete
says
Excellent. Aussie fun at its best.
Posted Monday, 15 July 2013 See my other reviews
Jojo
says
Best use of the 'C' word I have ever come across! Quirky, different and in one word...entertaining. A seriously 'don't take this too seriously' kind of movie. I laughed...a lot...brilliant in it's ridiculousness!! It's fun...relax ;)
Posted Saturday, 13 July 2013 See my other reviews
Petra
says
Disappointing
Posted Tuesday, 9 July 2013 See my other reviews
david simon
says
no
Posted Friday, 28 June 2013 See my other reviews
Cairo49
says
This was a complete embarrassment for all concerned. Hard to believe that actors of this quality would agree to star in such an abysmal movie. Quite possibly the worst Australian movie every and I actually think less of the actors for agreeing to appear in this c**p.
Posted Wednesday, 26 June 2013 See my other reviews
Fitza
says
A very Aussie movie. Loved it. Not for everyone and the 'plot' is impossible to explain but starts by focussing on the boredom of suburban life - how do you tell the sane from the insane in such an environment? A couple of scenes, including at the beginning with the backyard and the Hills Hoist, are taken straight from 'Muriel's Wedding'. Rebecca Gibney as the mother who loses the plot was excellent (took me a few minutes to recognise her, due to being 20 kg heavier for the role) but the real stars of this very funny movie are the teenage daughters and Toni Collette as their 'crazier than a cut snake' saviour. If you want a good laugh, with Aussie accents, Aussie actresses and Aussie scenery, you could do a lot worse than watching this movie. Recommended (for those with a weird sense of humour).
Posted Tuesday, 25 June 2013 See my other reviews
R Cass
says
Absolute rubbish don't bother
Posted Monday, 24 June 2013 See my other reviews
Suzie
says
Great Australian humour. Good acting by Toni Collette and Rebecca Gibney. Lots of laugh out loud moments.
Posted Wednesday, 19 June 2013 See my other reviews
Coolleen89
says
What a fantastic movie! So very honest. The title is so spot on. Love it!
Posted Thursday, 13 June 2013 See my other reviews
anne
says
Australian movies are so full of life.
Posted Monday, 10 June 2013 See my other reviews
Lazy, lazy, lazy with a woeful script
Posted Monday, 10 June 2013 See my other reviews
Harris
says
Had its moments, but really silly in parts. Wouldnt watch it again.
Posted Sunday, 9 June 2013 See my other reviews
Deb
says
quite possibly one of the WORST Aussie movies I have ever seen. PJ Hogan tried too hard to reproduce the success of 'Muriels Wedding', the script and the accents were appalling, the only bright sparks were the child actors and Rebecca Gibney.
Posted Saturday, 8 June 2013 See my other reviews
Janette
says
Pretty silly but a lot of fun!
Posted Saturday, 25 May 2013 See my other reviews
Adam
says
Great Aussie show.
Posted Thursday, 23 May 2013 See my other reviews
Brilliant!!
Posted Tuesday, 21 May 2013 See my other reviews
Purplesue
says
With all the great stars in this, I was expecting something really great! What I got was a mish mash of a ridiculous storyline, which was very disjointed and just out & out ridiculous. I'm only giving this 2 stars for Toni Collette, who held the whole thing together.
Posted Saturday, 18 May 2013 See my other reviews
renata
says
we saw this at the cinema. this movie really is mental and wasted a couple of hours of my life! this movie is bad
Posted Friday, 17 May 2013 See my other reviews
LeeKee
says
Could have been a fantastic movie, but overall disappointed. Toni Colette did a terrible Australian accent, I have never met anyone who sounded so awful, it was like she was doing it for the benefit of the US audience. And so much of movie was so obviously taken from 'Muriel's Wedding', I have to say it lacked originality. There were some funny parts, but these were few and far between, and much of the humour relied on distasteful subject matter, and swearing. I cannot recommend this movie.
Posted Wednesday, 15 May 2013 See my other reviews
Scooby
says
Maybe it was the mood I was in at the time - but I had to turn this off after 15minutes - I didn't even get to Toni Collette showing up - it just annoyed me too much.
Posted Wednesday, 15 May 2013 See my other reviews
Ros
says
Only watch it half way, got quite tiresome and silly.
Posted Wednesday, 15 May 2013 See my other reviews
Kellie
says
Excellent movie. Really sad in parts, but funny too. Great cast. Toni Collette is brillian. Would definitely watch it again
Posted Sunday, 12 May 2013 See my other reviews
Dark comedy with a deeper message...second watching and enjoyed it just as much....something to think about..." I don't have the conformity impulse" :)
Posted Saturday, 11 May 2013 See my other reviews
Rosielin
says
This should be called 'Crazy' instead of Mental. it started off a bit slow and disjointed but as soon as Toni Collette entered the picture it became very watchable. She definitely was the STAR. Some really funny scenes and others really stupid. Just go with the flow and don't expect too much.
Posted Thursday, 9 May 2013 See my other reviews
Libby and Greg
says
Wasn't sure at first but I came to love it. Great message.
Posted Tuesday, 30 April 2013 See my other reviews
Great cast and an original story well told
Posted Tuesday, 30 April 2013 See my other reviews
Kerry Ferguson
says
I think I know why the critiques disliked this film. For some twenty five years I worked in post production of our Aussie films and I would have to say, that was the worst film I have ever seen. Terrible script and with such great actors you would hope they could have rescued it. But alas....nothing could have saved that one!
Posted Wednesday, 24 April 2013 See my other reviews
"Flamboyantly misjudged" as stated by the Herald is the best summery of what I felt about this movie
Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 See my other reviews
D.M.
says
It was going to happen eventually - a movie in the same Aussie humour-type as "Muriel's Wedding". This time instead of Abba music, this PJ Hogan film features songs from "The Sound of Music". Offbeat, full of quirks, the film has its moments. Ripper and Trout steal the show.
Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 See my other reviews
Bhargav
says
useless, couldn't watch after 5 min. such a waste want to give 0 star, but don't know how to
Posted Thursday, 18 April 2013 See my other reviews
kim b
says
Loved this off beat comedy/ feel good type movie. Especially loved the ending....hilarious!!
Posted Monday, 15 April 2013 See my other reviews
Melzy
says
After reading that it was an aussie movie I have the compulsory 30 minute clause to give it a chance lol ... I watched the whole thing .. And after watching it ... I am really not sure why .... It was set up as if they were 1970s/80s family and they have all the mod cons like a wii lol .... utterly confusing .. but a few little laughs ... It really is a 50/50 kind of movie ... sorry for the dodgy review!!
Posted Monday, 15 April 2013 See my other reviews
Worst movie EVER. I was lost for words by the end of it. It's one of those movies you feel you have to keep watching because considering the cast you dearly hope it get's better, but it dosn't.
Posted Monday, 15 April 2013 See my other reviews
CND
says
Has a slightly familiar storyline as Murials Wedding - but still a good, fun, down to earth aussie flick. I totally enjoyed this and didn't want to turn it off - but I understand it wouldn't appeal to everyone.
Posted Wednesday, 10 April 2013 See my other reviews
A hilarious few laughs, but most was just too stupid and crass to be funny. And the excessive use of the 'c' in one scene really ticked me off! Quite shameful really.
Posted Tuesday, 9 April 2013 See my other reviews
garrett
says
Some amusing parts , but it didn't work for me
Posted Monday, 8 April 2013 See my other reviews
KerriD
says
Good movie. Hysterically funny & tragic at the same time. Toni Collette as Shaz is, as always, just outstanding, actually feel the movie would not have "made it" without her. Eventhough I enjoyed this movie, and agree that the serious subject matter is something we need to keep a sense of humour about (especially when directly impacted by mental illness), I still felt it was a little too ridiculously comical at times. It left me feeling they could have done a better job with it.
Posted Monday, 8 April 2013 See my other reviews
Jessica
says
Absolutey LOVED it! It really was "mental" and hilarious!! My favourite part is at the very very end, I'm giggling just thinking about it lol! Toni Collette is amazing!
Posted Thursday, 4 April 2013 See my other reviews
ENello
says
You can't beat a good Australian 'mental' movie! Hilarious. Definitely recommended.
Posted Tuesday, 2 April 2013 See my other reviews
Loved It - Really is metal :)
Posted Monday, 1 April 2013 See my other reviews
Lee
says
Starts off very "cringey" but as the story unfolds becomes engrossing. I was worried TC would be too much like her characters in United states of tara which I hate.....the kids were fabbo........all up,, a good watch
Posted Friday, 29 March 2013 See my other reviews
Did not enjoy - not in the same league as Muriel's wedding.
Posted Thursday, 28 March 2013 See my other reviews
Moi
says
I LOVED it! I didn't want it to end. So good!
Posted Wednesday, 20 March 2013 See my other reviews
Jac-a-tac
says
This would have to be the worst piece of Australian cinema I have seen. Total c**p. It hurt my feelings having to sit and watch it all the way through just so that I could see it through to the very awful end......don't waste your time watching this sub-standard offering
Posted Tuesday, 19 March 2013 See my other reviews
Luthien Nienna
says
I loved it! Will be buying this for my home collection.
Posted Tuesday, 19 March 2013 See my other reviews
Gracefulgal
says
There were some amusing parts in this movie. However it was crass humour. I had to turn it off. It was a insult to ones intelligence.
Posted Monday, 18 March 2013 See my other reviews
AJ
says
1 hour 45 mins of 'comedy' that didn't make me laugh once. Great acting by adults especially Gibney and Collette, but the tweens just ran around screaming. Some scenes were embarrassingly unfunny (like in the mental hospital) and I began to feel uncomfortable about the constant poking fun at the mentally ill. Predictable ending. Awful, awful script.
Posted Sunday, 17 March 2013 See my other reviews
I didn't even recognise the wife was played by Rebecca Gibney, till half way through the movie, she's amazing. I thought it was enjoyable to watch and I loved the great actors in this movie.
Posted Saturday, 16 March 2013 See my other reviews
Steve
says
Was ok.
Posted Friday, 15 March 2013 See my other reviews
Pig McGee
says
You either love it or you hate it. I tended to hate it but it was well acted so I'll give it 3 stars
Posted Wednesday, 13 March 2013 See my other reviews
wow loved it! well done toni collete!
Posted Wednesday, 13 March 2013 See my other reviews
Val Gamble
says
Crazy way out movie but well played by the main actors
Posted Wednesday, 13 March 2013 See my other reviews
Margit
says
Great movie lots of laughs.
Posted Monday, 11 March 2013 See my other reviews
Louise
says
off-beat funny. i thought it was humorous & entertaining.
Posted Saturday, 9 March 2013 See my other reviews
the name says it all
Posted Thursday, 7 March 2013 See my other reviews
Loved it, very funny
Posted Sunday, 3 March 2013 See my other reviews
Awesome Australian Comedy A
Posted Sunday, 3 March 2013 See my other reviews
Glenda D
says
ABSOLUTE GARBAGE - worst movie I have seen in a long time. I cannot believe that Rebecca Gibney would consent to being in such an absolutely terrible movie. Trying so hard to be like Muriel's wedding, but failing miserably as not even slightly funny, just pathetic. Toni Colette plays an unbelievably hideous, foul mouthed idiot.
Posted Sunday, 3 March 2013 See my other reviews
Vikki
says
Very entertaining. Bit "okker" in parts but Toni Collette was brilliant.
Posted Wednesday, 27 February 2013 See my other reviews
One of the funniest Aussie movies i have seen
Posted Tuesday, 26 February 2013 See my other reviews
chookey
says
Very funny. Clever acting. Great laugh. Not at mental issues but that people can laugh at themselves.
Posted Tuesday, 26 February 2013 See my other reviews
Lisa
says
absolute rubbish
Posted Sunday, 24 February 2013 See my other reviews
Stuart
says
This movie was dreadful. Not at all funny. I still don't understand why actors in Australian movie's feel that they have to put on broad Australian accents. There was nothing to save this movie.
Posted Friday, 22 February 2013 See my other reviews
Kazza
says
Well, two different in one week, not great, expected more laughs, but gave me a sense of how "Mental" I was bringing up my teenagers by myself...still worth a watch
Posted Friday, 22 February 2013 See my other reviews
Pat Isaacs
says
Quirky, of-beat, funny, thought-provoking movie. Toni Collette is at her dazzling best in this one.
Posted Thursday, 21 February 2013 See my other reviews
McLovin
says
Stupid.
Posted Tuesday, 19 February 2013 See my other reviews
Dutchy
says
The actors starring in this must have had trouble keeping a straight face. It was a crack up. And reflecting, not just the Tweed Heads area, but most of Australia as a whole.
Posted Saturday, 16 February 2013 See my other reviews
Caro
says
I loved it, the ambiance Australian actors the story line 'its a classic' with hilarious references, some you make yourself
Posted Wednesday, 13 February 2013 See my other reviews
Nomes
says
I expected it to be pretty bad from the reviews, but i didnt think it was too bad, worth a look.
Posted Saturday, 9 February 2013 See my other reviews
Kim
says
OK, not great but fun
Posted Friday, 8 February 2013 See my other reviews
michaelv
says
I only made it through the first 20 minutes of this stinker. It's not funny -- unless your idea of humour is making fun of people with a mental illness -- it's not clever, it's not believable, and it's not interesting. A complete waste of time. What is worse, it appears to have been made with investment of public money -- if so, it is a very sad commentary on the people who are giving out the money, as well as on the people who are spending it.
Posted Friday, 8 February 2013 See my other reviews
gerd
says
Mental is indeed an apt description of this movie, which is actually a pity as it tries hard to make some serious observations about mental illness. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is so far-fetched and silly, that none of the story is in any way credible or thought-provoking. The cast is generally terrific, the Tweed-Gold Coast setting is a pleasure, and the makings of a good movie are there, if only the script had been more realistic.
Posted Wednesday, 6 February 2013 See my other reviews
Dave
says
Horrible, unwatchable....UGH
Posted Wednesday, 6 February 2013 See my other reviews
BelindaP
says
With a cast of Anthony LaPaglia, Toni Collette, Liv Schreiber and Rebecca Gibney I expected a pretty good film. Disappointed. It just didn't work. Cringeworthy!
Posted Wednesday, 6 February 2013 See my other reviews
Marg
says
Oh dear, over the top, over acting, over everything!
Posted Monday, 4 February 2013 See my other reviews
Pat F
says
Not worth watching - cringe worthy
Posted Monday, 4 February 2013 See my other reviews
Absolutely bloody brilliant. Youse gotta take a ganda.
Posted Saturday, 2 February 2013 See my other reviews
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