Idiot Box

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  • R
  • 1996
  • 1 hr 25 min
  • 6.4  (910)

Idiot Box is a 1996 Australian film that tells the story of three friends, Mick, Kev, and Dobie, who work as security guards in a shopping mall. The three of them are bored with their mundane jobs and decide to create their own television show, which they call "Champagne Comedy." They use the mall's surveillance cameras to record their hijinks, and the show quickly gains a cult following.

The trio's show is a mix of skits, music videos, and candid camera stunts, with a heavy dose of irreverent humor. The show's popularity attracts the attention of a sleazy television executive named Mr. Stiles, who offers the trio their own TV show on his network. They jump at the chance, but soon find that the world of television is much more cutthroat than they ever imagined.

As the show becomes increasingly successful, the friends' bond is tested by jealousy, greed, and the pressures of fame. Mick, Kev, and Dobie must navigate the treacherous waters of show business and decide whether their friendship is worth more than fame and fortune.

Idiot Box is a dark comedy that satirizes the world of television and the corrupting influence of money and power. The film is a showcase for the talents of its three leads, Ben Mendelsohn, Jeremy Sims, and John Polson, who give pitch-perfect performances as the hapless security guards turned TV stars.

Mendelsohn, in particular, shines as the cynical and sharp-tongued Mick, whose biting wit masks his insecurity and fear of failure. Sims and Polson play Kev and Dobie, respectively, with a mix of goofiness and charm, and their chemistry with Mendelsohn is palpable.

Director David Caesar infuses the film with a gritty and anarchic energy, capturing the frenetic pace and adrenaline rush of the trio's early days. The film's dark tone and cynical outlook are offset by moments of genuine humor and warmth, and the characters' journey from humble beginnings to overnight success to bitter disillusionment is both funny and poignant.

The film also features a memorable supporting cast, including Sam Neill as an egotistical talk show host, Zoe Carides as Stiles' assistant, and Graeme Blundell as the trio's long-suffering boss. The film's soundtrack is also noteworthy, featuring a mix of Australian and international artists, including The Saints, Iggy Pop, and The Pixies.

Idiot Box was a critical and commercial success in Australia, winning several awards and becoming a cult favorite. It is a smart, funny, and biting satire that remains relevant today, as the world of television and media continues to be dominated by greed, competition, and the quest for ratings.

Idiot Box
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 25 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (910)