"Don't wanna go where there's no Coca-Cola...!"
Brent A. Anthonisen | Alpharetta, GA, USA | 08/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have been an Australophile forever; if there was one decade that really brought Australia's best side for the rest of the world to see, it had to be the 1980's; the pop music from Down Under during that time was among the best in the world, and the movies from Australia have a wonderful sense of the country that make them far more representative of itself than other movies from other countries...you see an Australian movie and you just KNOW: "That's Australia".
It may be hard to believe now, but there was once a time when Eric Roberts was much better-known than his sister Julia; this time parallels the time in Eric's career when he actually made good movies, like this one, f'rinstance.
This movie is very enjoyable in its quirkiness...Eric Roberts is terrific as an ex-United States Marine Corps, Southern-fried Gordon Gecko (Roberts, like his sister Julia, is from Smyrna, GA, so he does come by the accent naturally) who eats, sleeps, and breathes Coca-Cola and is sent by the Corporate hotshots to find out why in one remote corner of the Australian outback (redundancy, anyone?) no Coca-Cola is sold. The reason, it turns out, is the local Cola Baron (played by Australian cinema standard Bill Kerr...check him out in another great Aussie flick, "Gallipoli") who produces terrific cola virtually by hand and with it has won an almost cult-like devotion by the locals.
Greta Scacchi (who really does look like Susan Sarandon's kid sister in this movie) is the somewhat dizzy secretary with an on-again, off-again ex-husband and a beautiful wee daughter (who calls herself "DMZ", as in neutral territory where her parents can't fight) who starts attempting to seduce Roberts from his first day in Austalia. She may or may not have a motive to her madness, and it can at times be painful watching her attempts, but this is an enjoyable movie for someone who may not necessarily enjoy romantic comedies per se; and as a native Atlantan, I particularly enjoyed Roberts' monologue on the virtues of his product ("...the SOUND...of COKE")...made me want to pop one open on the spot.
And I PROMISE you will NOT be able to get that Tim Finn (former Split Enz, technically New Zealanders, but who's counting) Coca-Cola jingle out of your head after watching this!"
"Is this the Austrailian Sound?! I want the Austrailian soun
Mr. Tamm | Northern Illinois | 11/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all,
I highly recommend the review below, by the guy named "Sideburns." I think he captures the factual basis and spirit for this film. I can understand how some who are "Australia-philes" might want to see a purely Aussie product, and this is not that. It's not "Smash Palace" or many other fine Aussie films of that genre. What this film is, can be described in one word: WEIRD.
That's a good thing.
The genius of Eric Roberts used to be (and may still be again), his ability to seemingly lose himself in his roles, and do so while lacking any self-consciousness about how he comes across. To see this film and then see other excellent (and weird) films, including "The Pope of Greenwich Village" and "Runaway Train," is to see a career arc that was pretty amazing. He seemed to get into serious films with major talent around him, and then be able to carry-off demanding roles (albeit, some similar, sure), with energy and command.
Okay, onto this film. First of all, let's be honest, this is not a deep film. It's not meant to be. It is almost like an indie verson of a Farrely brothers film, at least their early ones, where they don't mind taking risks and also having fun. There's also a nice romantic subtext they had ("Kingpin" - believe it or not, "Me, Myself & Irene") where, in a ridiculous way, they reflect what's in a good majority of people who are either searching for love, or just searching for something in themselves, and they find it reflected or - in the case of the main characters in the Farrely films, and definitely in "Coca Cola Kid," abbetted by others. I'm not saying Woody Harrelson or Jim Carrey could've been the Coca Cola Kid, but what they all have in common, in the specific roles they played in these films, is to make one wonder if anyone would or could find anything remotely interesting about them in a romantic way. They are so completely un-indearing, it seems almost cartoonish - and then one just thinks of many people we all know, and it's not that unbelieavable.
The music in the film alone is just fantastic. The Coca Cola jingle Robert's character commissions is incredible, and it's punctuated by this aboriginal guy who is playing his device - a guy Roberts finds outside the Coca Cola local offices, and promptly drafts into service. It's just really funny to see The Kid's mind work - marketing wheels a'spinnin' as he devises and employs his strategies. Everyone on both sides is equally mocked, and that makes for a really fine, mostly non-judgemental film (rare these days, eh?).
There are other nice touches in the soundtrack and
also, I'd be remiss, not to mention NUTS, if I avoided the very nice scene of Greta Scaatchi where she's freshening up...well, go see the film!
It's quirky, it's revealing, and a lot of fun. It also does a great job of discussing culture clashes, where, when everyone is harmless, you can see how progress comes out of a some dissension, yet still wonder if we're losing a little something in the translation. If that's vague, so's the film in some ways, and I think that is precisely what the director was going for. It doesn't all have to fit perfectly. A lot doesn't, and that makes it kind of seem real."
Fredrick A. Waff | Cooperstown MLB | 05/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Coca-Cola Kid gets by on it's off-beat charm of which it is loaded with. Eric Roberts is Perfect as Becker the hotshot trouble shooter who comes to bring coca-cola to the outback. Along the way he becomes a better person as he encounters a local soft drink makerwho refuses to be pushed aside by the American giant. Greta Scacci plays Beckers love interest who has a few secrets of her own. Yes it is compareable to "Local Hero" but is original enough to stand on it's own. One of Roberts better performances."