DALLAS DOLL, made and released in Australia in 1994, and released in the United States in 1995, is an amusing, unpredictable comedy about an American golf pro who moves to Australia, seduces a family, and wins over a town.
Teenager Charlie Sommers (Jake Blundell), returning to Australia from a trip to New York, meets vivacious Dallas (Sandra Bernhard) on the plane. When Charlie arrives home, he discovers that Dallas has been hired as pro for the local golf club. His mother Rosalind (Victoria Longley) asks Dallas
home for dinner, and Dallas manages to get invited to stay with the family indefinitely. Even though she does not seem too reliable, she works her way into the hearts of Rosalind, her husband Stephen (Frank Gallacher), and Charlie. Only Rosalind's daughter, Rastus (Rose Byrne), and the family dog
fail to be charmed by Dallas.
Dallas's presence disturbs the family equilibrium completely. When she motivates Rosalind into buying a farm she had always dreamed of, Charlie and Rastus are sent off to boarding school. Dallas also seduces Charlie, who falls in love with her and decides to leave school. When he trys to tell his
parents, he discovers Dallas in bed with his father. In shock, he runs away.
Meanwhile, Dallas gains popularity in town, and quickly becomes mayor. She plans to expand the golf club and begins to attract Japanese investors. Rosalind also falls in love with Dallas, and when she tells Stephen, he suggests that the three live together as lovers. The idea disgusts her, and she
is further appalled when she finds Dallas making love to Charlie. She closes the golf club and sends Dallas away.
As Dallas is leaving, Rastus discovers a huge hole left by a UFO. Dallas falls into the hole and is stampeded by roaming cattle. The town mourns Dallas's death. Rosalind leaves Stephen but keeps the farm, her one true love.
DALLAS DOLL's plot is an exercise in absurdity. While it has a precedent in Pasolini's TEOREMA, the whimsical nature of the film and Bernhard's performance make its serious elements take a back seat to satire and farce. At one level, the film is an allegory that indicts the seductive nature of an
American lifestyle. Dallas is as dishonest and corrupting as she is charming. But despite the damage she does, Dallas is not all bad. She brings excitement and pleasure into the lives of the Sommers family and much of the town, and even after she dies, everyone who encountered her seems freer and
more open-minded than before.
The film is often hilarious. It contains several bizarre dream sequences, and a completely unexpected and surreal ending. The miniature golf scenes are priceless, with the supposedly prim Rosalind dancing wildly in garters and a bra. The performances are uniformly excellent. Bernhard is the
perfect choice for Dallas, unconventionally sexy, with a dry, clever wit, and an untamed spirit. Longley is equally good as Rosalind, effortlessly transformed from suburban housewife to necklace-stealing sexpot. DALLAS DOLL did not receive much exposure in the United States, but is a highly
entertaining film. (Extensive nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: DALLAS DOLL, made and released in Australia in 1994, and released in the United States in 1995, is an amusing, unpredictable comedy about an American golf pro who moves to Australia, seduces a family, and wins over a town. Teenager Charlie Sommers (Jake B… (more)