Released: 2nd December 2017
Directed By: Emily Harris/Ate De Jong
Starring: Lydia Wilson, Ellie Kendrick
Reviewed By: Van Connor
To those of a certain age, sticking the line “from the director of Drop Dead Fred” on your movie poster is writing a substantial cheque that you damn well better cash in the eyes of that potential audience. A cheque that simply bounces in the case of this occasionally bewildering romantic drama that forgoes the romance elements in favour of a millennial kitchen sink tale – elements it never seemingly tries – yet consistently fails – to do anything particularly interesting with. That its drama, then, isn’t particularly interesting either, is really just gravy.
Proceedings chronicle the relationship between Arthur and Vida – played by Johnny Flynn and Lydia Wilson – whose relationship… I dunno… exists? I guess? There are parental deaths, a closeted brother, and an argument about peanut butter along the way, but, to be frank, it’s all just window dressing for a film that attempts to glam up the oldest rom-com staple in the book: that he’s fickle, and she – for want of a better term – is a dick.
There’s little else to really hang around the neck of this otherwise instantly forgettable Brit flick. Flynn is an uninteresting presence to the extent of playing like a Poundland Brady Corbett, Wilson never gets the chance to do much before the script calls for her deeply unlikeable female lead to further wave the flag of unlikeability, and even a supporting cast that includes The Levelling’s Ellie Kendrick and Henry Goodman (I don’t remember his Marvel character’s name either, before you ask) can’t inject any life into this sub-par laughless and melodramatic Gavin & Stacy special.
Targeted at an audience presumably described as millennials who despise themselves, it’s mystifying to even attempt to work out just who this debacle could possibly find appreciation with. It’s too dull for the younger crowd, too drab for the twenty and thirtysomethings, and too youth-centric for the older crowd, despite visible on-screen attempts to pander to all three in varying degrees. The result is very much a combination of the central couple it depicts, chiefly in that it manages to be both fickle and quite nasty simultaneously, as well as being something nobody in their right mind could possibly want to endure in an evening.