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Film / Any Questions for Ben?

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"Yeah, aren't you the guy from Sea Patrol?"

"Never mistake motion for action."
—The Ernest Hemingway quote that opens the film

Any Questions For Ben? is a 2012 Australian comedy film by Working Dog Productions. It stars Josh Lawson, Rachael Taylor and a slew of Australian actors and comedians.

Ben (Lawson) is a 27-year-old brand manager living in Melbourne. He's well-paid and swimming in women, but since dropping out of university he's never held down a job for more than seven months and never had a girlfriend for more than three. He's living the high life, until he's asked to speak to the students of his former high school alongside human rights lawyer Alex (Taylor) and Olympic archer Jim (Ed Kavalee), and none of the students have any questions for him. This seemingly innocuous event sends Ben into the beginnings of a "quarter-life crisis" as he realises he's never accomplished or followed through on anything in his life. His existential wanderings are set against a burgeoning relationship with Alex, his latest job (relaunching a line of sportswear) and his best friend's happy relationship.


This film has examples of the following tropes:

  • Caught on the Jumbotron: At Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Tennis Open.
    Ben: No, I did not have sex with your daughter!
    Announcer: ...quiet on the court.
  • Class Reunion: Zig-zagged. Ben is invited back to his former high school to give a talk to the current students about his successful career, along with several former classmates. Many of the typical tropes are present, but there's only half a dozen characters.
  • Cool Car: Sam's Ferrari. Ben borrows it to impress Katerina and is beyond inept.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Em takes the cake. When she and Nick announce they're getting married and Andy says "To each other?":
    Em: No, no, Nick met someone overseas and I met a guy on the plane.
  • The Ditz: Andy. He's really not the best guy to ask for advice when you're going through an existential crisis.
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  • Fun with Subtitles: Especially in the party scene at the beginning.
    Subtitles: Fluer was Fluer, right?
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Ben flies to Yemen to ask Alex out on a date. In (bad) Arabic. Aside from being a big romantic gesture, it's a sign of Ben's Character Development that he's following through on his plans from earlier in the film (going on a big overseas trip, trying to learn a foreign language, etc).
  • Hurricane of Excuses: Ben, constantly, to explain why he never follows through on any of his big life decisions.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: It's downplayed and lacking melodrama, but Alex is surprised to learn that Ben paid any attention to her during uni.
  • Moment Killer: Jim.
    • Every big moment between Ben and Alex is preceded by them asking Andy to leave the room. And then interrupted by him coming back to grab something he forgot.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Katerina the tennis player.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The priest who conducts Nick and Em's wedding. His every line will make you laugh.
  • Phrase Catcher: Ben gets a few.
    She has a boyfriend.
    Did you keep up your cricket?
  • Romantic False Lead: Alex's boyfriend Nils, the Danish bobsled champion.
  • Scenery Porn: Melbourne is gorgeous.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After spending half the film trying to help Ben start a relationship with Alex, only to see him bungle it with his complete lack of follow-through, Em declares "I give up with you. Live [your life] exactly the way you want, cause I'm out."
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: Sam took it upon himself to teach Ben the secrets to life.
  • Shout-Out: To Ernest Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro.
  • Sport in Australia: The Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup are big parts of the plot.
  • The Stoic: Ken.
  • Title Drop
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Ben has a lot of trouble explaining what a brand manager actually does.
    Ben: I'll write it down.
    Ben's Dad: Could you? And then email it to me?
  • Why Are We Whispering?
    Ben: [whispering] We didn't want to wake you.
    Andy: [whispering] Oh. Thanks.


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