directed by Tim Beers & Wade White
(Some Guys, 2007)

This is a cute little film fantasy, I thought when I watched Tim Beers' and Wade White's 16-minute epic -- called Ukulele -- about a man who inherits his father's ukulele. But it's really a bit too silly for words. Who could imagine someone becoming so obsessed with a ukulele that it causes marital problems. I mean, I play the ukulele myself, but it's no big deal. I could give it up any time.

But then I showed it to my 19-year-old son, and he collapsed in a fit of laughter. "It's funny because it's true," he said. "That scene where he appears in the kitchen doorway and plays that little trill ... that's so you."

Harrumph, I thought. Teenagers. So I showed it to my 84-year-old mother. "See what happens," she said, wagging a stern finger at me. "I warned you. You're going to drive your poor wife crazy -- and get yourself in trouble."

So there was nothing for it now but to show the film to my wife and get it straight from the horse's mouth. Well, she fell all over herself laughing, too. I don't know what's the matter with this family.

"That's exactly what it's like with you," she said. "And don't think I haven't thought about doing what that woman did in the film."

I'm pretty sure my wife was just teasing, though. Pretty sure.

So, if you live with anyone who plays the ukulele -- or if you're thinking of taking this instrument up yourself -- maybe you ought to give this humorous (according to some) cautionary tale a look-see first. For your own good.

By the way, the film features a cameo appearance by Vancouver-based, self-described King of the Ukulele, Ralph Shaw. The animated introduction is a hoot, too; these guys are funny. And believe it or not, there's actually more than an hour of special features. Check out the website ( to find out how to get a copy for yourself (or to send a message to for your ukulele-playing loved one).

review by
John Bird

19 December 2009

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