Film Review – Colin Hay: Waiting For My Real Life (2015)


Title – Colin Hay: Waiting For My Real Life (2015)

Directors – Aaron Faulls and Nate Gowtham (feature debuts)

Cast – Colin Hay, Guy Pearce, Zach Braff, Mick Fleetwood

Plot – Examines the life of Men at Work front man Colin Hay and the highs and lows of his career from Grammy winner to struggling independent artist.

“We won a Grammy in 1982 for best new artist. That was about 30 years ago….can’t wait to see what happens next”

Review by Eddie on 07/03/2017

A band that took the world by storm in the early to mid 80’s, Men at Work became a name synonymous with Australia and a band that’s successes will never be able to be denied or talked down.

Selling millions of records and becoming a worldwide sensation, Waiting For My Real Life shines a light on the time when Men at Work became the household name that drove them into the spotlight and then turns its focus onto lead member and co-founder Colin Hay who has in the years since Men at Works rather early demise been trying to find his place in the musical world and not just as “that guy” from the Men at Work heydays.

Documentary filmmakers Aaron Faulls and Nate Gowtham have had the doors of Hay’s life opened to them as he chats candidly about his troubles, trials and highs as a performer who is more talented than many perhaps have given him credit for and while the film lingers perhaps a little too long on Hay’s cross country American performances, there’s little doubt this proficient story teller, musician and wordsmith makes for an intriguing subject matter.

From his move from Scotland to Australia in his early years, his Melbourne pub crawl that set about the beginnings of what Men at Work were to become, the insightful look at Men at Work in their heyday touring and conquering the world through to Hay’s fight to remain relevant as an independent artist, the life of Colin Hay has been one that’s never less than interesting and for anyone that counted themselves as Men at Work fans at one stage in their lives, this documentary offers up a fantastic examination of the band and its head honcho.

Waiting For My Real Life also doesn’t shy away from some of the controversies of Men at Work’s legacy, in particular the bands supposed copying of key musical riffs used in their Down Under hit and these elements of the bands history offer up much food for thought as to what it means when artists high points are brought down by those seeking to leech of their success.

A well-made if slight documentary that misses out on really setting up Hay in his early life as well as a rushing of the Men at Work period of Hay’s life to instead focus on his later years, Waiting For My Real Life is a must watch for any Men at Work and music fans and for anyone looking to experience the struggles of a musician that once had the world at his disposal.

3 ½ Grammys out of 5

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