Crap Cinema 

Cleaning Toilets and Making Movies with Kenny

About 20 minutes into Kenny, it dawned on me that I was not, in fact, watching an actual documentary about a man who cleans port-a-potties. This was disappointing on many levels, including the level where I keep my potty humor. Setting my disappointment aside, I soldiered on with the rest of the movie—shattered illusions and all—and gradually fell head over heels in like with Kenny, a fictional blue-collar toilet technician with a heart of gold.

Kenny (played by Shane Jacobson, who apparently is more famous in Australia than Crocodile Dundee, which seems impossible) is followed by cameras in mock documentary style through the daily grind of distributing, cleaning, and maintaining port-a-johnnies (I am quickly running out of clever euphemisms for toilets) for the fictional Melbourne company Splashdown. And I do mean "mock documentary," not "mockumentary"—thankfully, the movie never once winks or nods at the audience in Christopher Guest fashion, but instead treats its subjects with the kind of realism found only in nature films.

At the crux of the film is Kenny's mounting anxiety about taking the next step in his career and going all managerial and stodgy, or staying true to his working class roots. A philosopher with an "everybody poops" mentality towards his profession, Kenny manages the stresses of giant summer music festivals, hooligan-y drag races, and finally the posh Melbourne Cup with a sweet, steady hand and a beer or five at the end of the day.

A gentle giant with the meanest, oldest dad in the world, Kenny must also contend with idiot co-workers and his shrewish, harping ex-wife, who has inexplicably been given custody of their son. Funny and disarming, Kenny is a surprisingly good and surprisingly convincing movie.

Kenny
Rated PG-13 · 99 min.
Official Site: www.xenonpictures.com/kenny
Director: Clayton Jacobson
Writer: Clayton Jacobson and Shane Jacobson
Producer: Clayton Jacobson
Cast: Shane Jacobson, Travis Golland, Chris Davis, Alf Scerri, Hayley Preusker, Saxon Fuller, Thomas Uerata, Kevin 'The Captain' Roy Ogston, Glenn Preusker and Kevin Roy

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