Paul Hogan is a favourite of mine. Be it his TV shows that screened before I was even alive, or his smash hit Crocodile Dundee, or the brilliant war TV series ANZACs he always brings something special, and likable to the production. In 2004 he released another great movie, Strange Bedfellows.
After reading about the passing of new tax law that would benefit same-sex couples, working class guy Vince (Paul Hogan) convinces his lifelong friend Ralph (Michael Caton) to file their taxes together. They assume they will easily get away with the ruse, with no one in their cozy, small town the wiser. But when an official from the department of taxation (Pete Postlethwaite) arrives to investigate their claim, Vince and Ralph are forced to act out their ruse to avoid legal trouble--and end up shocking and surprising their family and the other townsfolk.
Of course whenever entertainment is produced about 'racism', 'religion' or 'sexual orientation' it is bound to create controversy but Strange Bedfellows seemed to avoid that simply by having a good, heartfelt, script with likable characters that, while homophobic like most the townsfolk to begin with, are redeemed through a series of events that take place during the course of the movie. Sure there are some stereotypical images and moments, but Paul Hogan and Michael Caton handle the material well and are both very likable as Vince and Ralph.
Indeed Strange Bedfellows wasn't the biggest movie in terms of critical or commercial success, but it did generate a lot of international attention when a near identical movie called I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was released and saw a lawsuit from the makers of Strange Bedfellows (although this was withdrawn in 2008 when the Australian filmmakers saw that the Adam Sandler movie was written separately and was simply a coincidence the storylines were so similar).
There's something a little strange about the audio on this disc however. Taking one example, have a listen around the 29:00 minute mark and it sound like there is a slight echo in the dialogue. Initially I thought I'd bumped something on the audio settings on my Onkyo receiver, but no, it's seems to be the track. This occurs several times throughout the movie. The disc also includes an English subtitle track which, nicely, colours the subtitles according to the person talking.
Sadly Strange Bedfellows comes to Blu-Ray with absolutely no extras at all. This is all the more disappointing due to the amount of additional content on the DVD which includes deleted scenes, an audio commentary, photos, and interviews among others. Now it's bad when a movie studio neglects to include extras from the DVD in SD let along in HD, but to not include them at all is criminal...
Review By: Dave Warner