I have to admit that when I first saw the trailer for the Aussie comedy Save Your Legs (2012) my expectations were pretty low. The tale of an amateur cricket team on tour in India had cliché and cringefest written all over it.
The end result is a fair bit better than my pre-judged opinion. Sure there is a bunch of cliché and the odd cringe. But the whole thing is charming enough, thanks mainly to the cast, that I was able to forgive those sins, chill out and just enjoy this pretty mild comedy. The film follows the Abbotsford Anglers, a hack D grade cricket side, who talk themselves into a fully sponsored tour of India. It focuses on the entire team, but especially the trials of three of the players. Teddy played by Stephen Curry is a cricket obsessive. One of those weekend battlers in all sports who take the game far too seriously and absolutely live for the game. Alongside him are his best mates, Rick played by Brendan Cowell (also on screenwriting duties here) and Stavros played by Damon Gameau, both of whom are not quite so cricket obsessed and have other things on their mind. Buying peach suits, preparing for impending nuptials and getting absolutely stoned out of their mind chief amongst them.
You can see where the conflict will come from in the film as this band of misfits bungle their way around the cricket fields of India. Teddy takes things far too seriously, whilst Rick and Stavros generally dick around and have a great time whilst taking things nowhere near seriously enough. Along the way, the film does dip into the clichés that I feared it would, with ‘Delhi-belly’ jokes and numerous weed based shenanigans. But the whole thing overall is just so fine and easy to watch that I didn’t particularly mind. The film is very much helped by the fact that it was shot in India. Like The Waiting City (2009), another Australian film shot in India, this choice is an easy way to give the film a real jolt of atmosphere and sense of place. Many of the cast will be familiar to Aussie viewers, not so much people from outside Australia. Stephen Curry, still most famous for his role in the iconic Aussie comedy The Castle (1997) seems a good dude and comes across as very genuine onscreen. Brendan Cowell continues to craft out a niche as the laconic ‘best mate’, something he does very well and brings the laughs. The rest of the cast is strong as well, Damon Gameau is good as Cowell’s partner in crime, while David Lyons who was so good in Cactus (2008) is unfortunately given far too little screen time.
Save Your Legs will most likely not top your year end list, even if you restricted yourself to just Aussie or comedy films. But it is a decent slice of fun. The cast are really excellent and the locations are pretty spectacular as well. Just so nice and easy to watch.
Verdict: Stubby of Reschs