A family "dramedy" in the vein of Little Miss Sunshine, Introducing the Dwights hails from the suburbs of Australia. Already met with middling reviews, Dwights doesn't stand a chance at garnering the attention Sunshine enjoyed, but that constitutes no reason to bypass it.
The film's central character, Jean (Brenda Blethyn), was a somewhat famous entertainer in her youth, and while she still gives it a go at dingy clubs, her star has long been waning. In the meantime, she married and divorced a one-hit-wonder country singer, with whom she had two sons, the older of which, Mark (Richard Wilson), was brain damaged at birth, and the younger of which, Tim (Khan Chittenden) is about to fly the coop after a lifetime of over-mothering. It's this impending coming of age that is the source of the ample drama contained in Dwights, a common enough familial rite of passage that's colored by the eccentricities within this entertainment-world family.
The inclusion of a "loveable retard" character is a slam dunk in any film that's aimed at winning my emotions—it works every time. True to formula, Mark was my favorite character by far, and his scenes are among the film's warmest and most hilarious; I would venture to say that his character is indispensable to the enjoyment of the film, and it's worth noting that Wilson handles the role adeptly.
Jean, too, is a sympathetic case, working in a canteen and teaching music lessons to get by. But when she starts to realize that she's losing Tim to his love interest, Jill (Emma Booth), cracks appear in the mortar, with Jean turning into an overly emotional, boozy, bawdy, villainous homemaker.
Much like romantic comedies, family dramedies aren't for everyone, and cynicism won't get you far with this film. My threshold for sap is higher than average, and this film was real enough to leave tears streaking down my face. The film breaks down a bit during the finale—where a flawed but happy conclusion gets a bit over-polished—but if you're looking for a feel-good cry, don't miss this one.