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Re-Inventing Eddie
15Re-Inventing Eddie (2004)

updated 04 May 2004
reviewer's rating
1 out of 5
Reviewed by Jamie Russell


Director
Jim Doyle
Writer
Jim Doyle
Ian Brady
Stars
John Lynch
Geraldine Somerville
John Thomson
Lauren Cook
Ben Thompson
Length
94 minutes
Distributor
Guerilla Films
Cinema
07 May 2004
Country
Ireland/UK
Genre
Comedy


Forget Re-Inventing Eddie, this bleak little comedy drama spends more time deconstructing the poor guy. Eddie (John Lynch) is a happy-go-lucky father of two who lands in hot water with social services after a harmless bathtime game with his kids gets taken out of context. It's all just a misunderstanding, but the angrier he gets, the worse things become. An uneasy blend of laughs and tears, this reactionary little Brit flick wears its politics on its sleeve.

Cursing the meddling liberal 'do-gooders' at social services, Eddie's determined not to let them into his house or near his family. Only he doesn't have a choice. As the situation escalates and the social worker assigned to the case takes his hostility as a sign that he has something to hide, Eddie's eventually thrown out of his home and slapped with a supervision order preventing him from seeing his kids alone. Then, rumours start flying that he's a "perv", someone poisons his dog, and the police eventually step in to bang him up.

Based on a one-man stage play, this uneven little film seems more interested in ticking off the busybodies at Social Services than in offering any convincing portrait of a family's disintegration. Apparently unconcerned about tracing the reactions of Eddie's wife or children in any great depth, writer-director Jim Doyle follows our hero as he abducts his kids from school for an impromptu trip to the beach (er, hello?) and rails against the system that's done 'im wrong.

Addressing an extremely serious issue with little other than clichéd caricatures and rabid indignation, this is an insidious piece of filmmaking. One-sided, dishonest, and full of the self-righteous sensationalism of a tub-thumping tabloid editorial, it's a movie that has little to add to the ongoing debate over protecting children from abuse.

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