Eating shit while charming pants off in this Brit mockumentary

REVIEW This first feature by the Jacobson brothers — director Clayton and leading actor Shane, also coscenarists — is about a beleaguered working-class stiff. His disgraceful (to everyone but him) job is delivering and maintaining rental portaloos (read: portable toilets) to various public events, many attracting patrons who can't keep their aim straight or food down. Kenny has a bratty son, a vicious ex-wife, unreliable coworkers, an endlessly criticizing father, and myriad other woes. But this being an underdog comedy — and a mockumentary to boot — we know that somehow he will come out on top, and maybe even find Ms. Right en route. I know what you're thinking: either (a) this sounds like (pun intended) crap, and/or (b) what, they let Rob Schneider make another movie? But take a deep breath and overcome those very reasonable fears, because — no kidding — Kenny is one of those films that sneaks up on you, at first seeming "not so bad," then "pretty cute, actually." Then before you know it, you're grinning ear-to-ear, pants duly charmed off. Its pudgy, pincushion protagonist, with his hilariously tossed-off bits of wisdom, for a while seems to have the odds stacked almost too cruelly against him — indeed, we see him having to eat shit from just about everyone. But when fate unexpectedly sends him on a far-flung business trip, luck starts turning around for Kenny in ways that are raffishly funny and surprisingly sweet. A lot of folks have tried doing the semi-improv Christopher Guest thing in recent years, usually badly. This Aussie effort not only pulls it off, it manages better results than Guest himself has managed since 2000's Best in Show.

KENNY runs Fri/1–Sun/3 at the Red Vic Movie House. See Rep Clock for times.

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