Complete A-Z list



Stars: Laura Michelle Kelly, Ronan Keating, Dustin Clare, Magda Szubanski

Director: Mark Lamprell

Goddess is a fun idea that never quite works, mainly thanks to the way the director constructs and treats its story. But it does give us the opportunity to appreciate the glorious 'show-tune' voice of theatrical diva Kelly, such a hit on stage as Mary Poppins.

She's a seemingly friendless English-born housewife, Elspeth, now a grass widow in Tasmania. Her husband (Keating) is off saving the world's whales, while she, a former 'gig' singer in pubs, is stuck at home with two awful, and incredibly out-of-hand children, twin boys.

Then she starts performing her vocal routines - a kitchen sink number, a cowgirl song - to a screen, with a local nerd teaching her how to make them accessible to the public. Spotted by a big advertising agency looking for a singing figurehead, she finds herself whisked off to Sydney, where she's groomed for advertising stardom by the formidable Szubanski, who could give Ethel Merman a run for her money, and wooed by a harbourside busker (Clare).

The singing voices here are better than the numbers, and the film somehow never gathers steam, Elspeth's doubts and prevarications along the way not allowing the narrative to sweep along, leaving it a thing of rags and patches.

Kelly is a mesmerising performer - plays piano too - but not much at the acting game, an accusation that could be levelled against most of an enthusiastic cast. Doris Day and her director made a much better fist of the housewife-superstar plot all of 50 years ago in The Thrill of It All. Here, despite her popularity, we're never really allowed to see Elspeth get anywhere near the top.

The best moment in fact comes right at the start as she roars to the top of a hill just like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, only to find her twins eating cowpats (ugh) on the other side.

David Quinlan

Australia 2012. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour by deluxe.
103 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 28 Jun 2014