Written by Luke Barnes
A group of young people come of age in 70s era Britain.
There is some charm to this film for sure, I found its final scene to be heartfelt, hopeful and warm and still a ways away from overly sentimental. Moreover, I also thought whenever Ricky Gervais was on screen the film perked up, sadly he didn’t show up all that often.
That said, I also think this film has a lot of issues. Most prominently, it feels more like the co-directors of Gervais and Merchant reminiscing about a very specific time period in recent British history rather than a film with a narrative to tell in its own right. In that regard it gave us a very fixed version of the coming of age, wayward teen story that I think we have all seen before. It felt to me as though the film was more interested in showing how life was then rather than telling any kind of story.
Further in that vein, a lot of the characters didn’t come across as real people rather as cliches or architypes used to push the narrative in a certain direction and to set up later character decisions. Moreover, when the film did try and hit on sentimentality a lot of the time it came across overly so, which is why I singled out the ending for not doing this, as it was a nice change.
Overall, not without charm but widely I don’t see the point in this film or why it needed to exist.
The sound track
Gervais as an actor
It doesn’t need to exist
The emotion often feels overly sentimental
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