Kath and Kim, warts and all
Kath and Kimderella. Picture: Roadshow Picture: Supplied.

It's art house and bete noir, dumbed down with a touch of highbrow. It's a fairytale, too, because its stars do appreciate anything Grimm. And feel-good and inspirational, because if you believe, you can be anything you want to be, even a hornbag from Fountain Lakes.

"We're a living, breathing fairytale, really," says Kath.

We speak about, of course, Kath and Kimderella, the much-awaited film debut of Kath Day-Knight and Kim Craig (nee Day), the moment when they leave the comforts of suburbia and launch themselves into the Oscar-seeking territory of international film.

Set in the bankrupt Italian town of Papilloma which, happily, looks far more like Positano though it translates as wart, it brings together the Kath and Kim of television, warts and all.

Kel's there, eschewing the finals of MasterChef to save Kath from the predations of an evil king, who looks a lot like Rob Sitch but with a lot of hair. Kim is there, on her best princess behaviour. Sharon is there too, desperate for a touch of romance and, so, surprisingly, is British actor Richard E. Grant, whose rolling eyes are a welcome distraction from the manic ladies from Down Under.

Kim's husband Brett is there, with their mini-princess Epponnee-Rae, and so are the endless stream of Kath and Kim-isms, the confusions, the slapstick, the adventures, the misunderstandings, the remarkable wardrobe choices.

Trude and Prue are there too, though less successfully.

It's familiar, it's mostly funny, and it takes the gentle joke that is at the heart of Kath and Kim's existence to a different level. They find themselves in a tale of love, lust and revolution while keeping their reference point firmly attached to Fountain Lakes.

It loses itself in the middle part with too many plot complications but lovers of Kath and Kim and their friends will not complain.

There's even a song-and-dance routine and a good, old-fashioned sword fight. Actually, it's hard to think of anything that isn't there.

The foxy ladies head off to Italy when Kath wins a competition. Kel can't go with her because he's terrified of flying and anyway, it's the finals of MasterChef. Brett certainly can't go, because he's not invited.

The experience was, says Kath, a chance to beat the Italians at their own game - fashion.

"The looks I got," she said. She chose to dress in tribute to Italian gelati. "A pistachio capri, a choc -mint T, mango espadrilles, rum-and-raisin trousers, that kind of thing. Next time I go I'll think tartufo.

"Fashion-wise, I think I taught the Italians a thing or two. I showed them the way. My distressed denim, for instance. That really got their attention. Those Italian women, though - really, I think they need to take a look at themselves."

Of course they had to learn to deal with Italian bottom-pinchers, who seemed reluctant to understand what Kath meant when she told them no way Josay.

The food, though, went straight to Kath's bottom. And Kim's, though Kim by her own admission is still perfect.

The elevation to movie-star status brings with it, they admit, a degree of responsibility in commenting on world affairs. Kath says the environment's always been her thing and she did her best in Italy to introduce a carbon tax and put solar panels on the roof of the old castle that is their Italian home.

Kim's aim is less ambitious - she just wants to find the perfect fake tan. You know, the one with just the right amount of orange.

Kim's embattled marriage to Brett is part of the movie's storyline and leads one to wonder whether she believes in marriage as an institution.

"Oh yes," she says. "I think everyone should be happily married five or six times. Threatening to divorce Brett all the time really keeps him in line."

A running gag through the movie is Kel, a gourmet butcher by trade, and his fascination with MasterChef. He puts what the show has taught him to the test in a very funny sequence where he exhorts caterers to hurry with the plating up.

"If I went on MasterChef, my signature dish would be my chicken feet," offers Kath. "I'd like to walk my feet all over that George Calombaris, that's for sure."

Kim's signature dish may be takeaway but, she insists, she's perfected dialling the number and decanting the plastic boxes. Which leads Kath to add that, really, you have to have standards. No one should eat out of the containers, though they do fit nicely on a tray.

The pair were in Perth on Saturday for the launch of the film. What had they expected to find in Perth, apart from "fans screaming for us" as they trod the red carpet "dressed to the noines"?

Sharks, obviously. "We've heard that they've found land-going ones, now, so that's a bit of a worry," says Kath cheerfully. And perhaps quokkas visiting from Rottnest, and mining magnates, though they were a little disappointed to discover that Clive Palmer is a Queenslander.

"Gina Rinehart, though, and Twiggy Forrest," says Kim. "I think she'd look really good in my princess frock."

The pair expect reaction to the film to be yooj, just yooj.

Kath and Kimderella is now screening.

The West Australian

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