Strange Bedfellows focuses on the schemes of two older men, Vince (Paul Hogan) and Ralph (Michael Caton. One day, while struggling to figure out how to pay his taxes given that much of his finances were separated from him in a divorce, Vince hears some news about new tax benefits that will include gay couples, and so he comes up with the idea to fake being in a relationship with his best friend Ralph, who agrees to the plan.
After a mishap at the post office, soon enough, the entire town knows about their application for the benefits, and it’s discovered that an investigator is being sent by the national government to ascertain the validity of their claims. Knowing that this is going to be quite a challenge, Vince and Ralph commit to getting lessons in gayness from a hairdresser named Eric, and spending some time in gay clubs in Sydney.
The investigator, Russell, arrives in town early, at the same time as Ralph’s daughter, Carla. It turns out that Carla actually is gay, and introduces her girlfriend, Peta. Vince and Ralph finish their interview and head out to attend the Fireman’s Ball, where they find that Russell is also attending, forcing them to keep up the act for a while longer. Some of their gay friends from the clubs in Sydney also arrive, and the townspeople create a bit of a scene, leading Ralph to give a speech about the sanctity of a couple’s private lives and the validity of their gay friends as human beings. Ultimately, although the investigator isn’t convinced by their act, he is convinced of their qualities as good people.
“Hogan’s natural charm serves him well as the eternal optimist with one eye on the loot and the other on a postmistress, Yvonne (Paula Duncan). Caton, also a favorite on local screens.”
— Richard Kuipers, Variety
“There is absolutely nothing in Strange Bedfellows that you don’t see coming, or haven’t seen before, or both, and yet it somehow remains a complete delight anyway. This is a warm and fuzzy movie that relies on stale cliché’s to move the plot forward and a feel-good attitude to keep us watching despite ourselves. I want to yell at the filmmakers for sticking to such a tired formula, but I just can’t. They made me smile too much.”
— David Cornelius, EFilmCritic.com
“A gentle comedy about mateship, Strange Bedfellows relies on its key casting of Paul Hogan and Michael Caton to squeeze every drop of goodwill and humour from its premise of two men pretending to be gay.”
— Louise Keller, Urban Cine File
Did You Know?
Strange Bedfellows secured 40% of the entire Australian box office haul for the year of 2004, making it considered as a smash hit in its domestic market. A few years after the release of Strange Bedfellows, there were controversial allegations that the 2007 film I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry had plagiarized the Australian film. These accusations were dropped, however, after an early draft of the latter film was produced and shown to predate Strange Bedfellows. Review our Gay Themed Films Here