Any Questions for Ben? (2012)
For 27-year-old Ben, life couldn't be better. A well paid job, friends, parties, girls and nothing to tie him down. But when he is invited back to his old school to join several other ex-students including Alex and Jim in talking about their personal achievements, something goes wrong. Ben is the only speaker not to be asked a question by the school kids. This triggers a year of soulsearching and looking for answers in all the wrong places. From his best friend Andy whose solution is that they both take another holiday, to his mentor Sam who loans him a sports car in the belief that there's nothing like excessive speed to resolve emotional turmoil. Not even Ben's father or friends Nick and Em can offer much in the way of meaningful guidance. Of course, it's not easy seeking enlightenment in nightclubs, or on the ski fields of New Zealand, and when you start dating a Russian tennis star things can get really complicated. As the poster boy for a generation desperate to tick every box, Ben begins to suspect that the meaning of life may well reside in the things he's already doing - and a girl he used to know. … More
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Critic Reviews for Any Questions for Ben?
The Working Dog writing group's collaboration feels so organic. This is searching, vulnerable, dramatic, comedy.
It's a film made for the 1% who question their sweet life while sitting on a gold plated toilet.
While the film does have its flaws story-wise, the killer dialogue with its uniquely Australian style of wit makes it a true joy to watch.
Any Questions for Ben? is watchable enough. But it could have been so much more.
It's full of the kind of fake insights and sanctimonious crap to be found in magazine self-help columns. Pity, because that's a real fun killer.
The problem with the film, apart from it being only sporadically funny, is the character of Ben himself, there's too little development and a lot of repetition. But there's a lot to enjoy here.
The whole thing made me nostalgic for Working Dog's sharper days when they would surely have perpetrated all sorts of wickedness at Ben's expense.
I sense that others who similarly fell hard for the soulful sincerity of The Castle and The Dish will feel a little quizzical about the comparative slickness of Any Questions for Ben?
The talented bunch of actors ably cut through the surface gloss, but it's tough to remain invested in the plight of the self-absorbed lead.
It's a slick, lightweight feel-good film about a bunch of characters who happen to be sharing their glamorous, hard-partying lifestyle with you for a couple of hours.
It's slight and rarely laugh out loud funny-pleasant and occasionally chucklesome is an apt way to describe its loose style-but in the end I found myself smiling along to the proceedings, so I guess that's a win.
Although this third film from the Working Dog team is their weakest, Any Questions for Ben? is still a funny and insightful look into Gen X pressures in an increasingly fast paced world.
Even though Any Questions for Ben never really produces any unique answers to make it a revelatory rom-com, it has an easy, low-stakes charm, and is buoyed by its very talented cast of performers.
At last, an Australian film that's as sophisticated and slick as its cities, yet down to earth and in touch with our sardonic sense of humour.
The film is blessed with a sharp cast ready to tread the fine line between comedy and drama that works like glue to hold the film together
Audience Reviews for Any Questions for Ben?
Not much happening in the way of a story line. I couldn't really care less about any of these characters.
Ben has a nice life, a good job, good friends, and yet he's still unhappy with his lot. He has a few flings, but he can't commit. Until he does.
That's pretty much it.
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