Life’s too short to
Although its story easily could have spun right off the rails, this British comedy uses earthy honesty to win the audience over. The filmmakers also refuse to shy away from things that are usually taboo in family movies, like marital problems, sexuality and mortality. And by never indulging in wacky slapstick or trite moralising, the movie makes the point that sometimes the worst thing we can do to our kids is try to protect them from what's really happening.
The story starts in London, as Abi and Doug (Rosamund Pike and David Tennant) set off to drive north to the Scotland Highlands for the 75th birthday of David's father Gordy (Billy Connolly). They've told their three hilariously overactive kids Lottie, Mickey and Jess (Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge and Harriet Turnbull) not to say anything to anyone about their crumbling marriage. And when they arrive it's clear that everyone has something they don't want to talk about. Gordy is avoiding conversations about his terminal cancer, while David's brother Gavin (Ben Miller) and his wife Margaret (Amelia Bullmore) are also covering up facts from their recent past. Then on a day trip to the beach, the holiday takes a startling turn.
Where the film goes from here hinges on the actions of three children under 10 years old, and all three actors are terrific, creating believable characters who are bursting with individualistic personalities. Watching them try to decode the adult world around them is thoroughly engaging, with the humour lightly balanced by some darker truths. Meanwhile, the grown-up cast get to play the more obviously comical moments, including a few rather too-broad gags. But each of them keeps their character in focus, never letting them tip over into cartoonish silliness. Pike, Tennant and Connolly are all terrific, with pointed support from Miller and Bullmore, plus Imrie as a rather too-knowing social worker.
Continue reading: What We Did On Our Holiday Review
When Doug (David Tennant) and his family travel to the Scottish Highlands for his father's (Billy Connolly) birthday party, hilarity ensues as they embark on what will no doubt be a holiday to remember. Along the way there will be plenty of time spent allowing the children to drive and verbally battle with their grandfather. That, and debate with their Uncle Gavin (Ben Miller) whether he is rich or not and how he is able to live in such a big house.
Three young children are about to learn what adulthood is really like when they take a summer trip to the Scottish Highlands with their parents Doug and Abi. There they are due to attend Doug's father Gordie's birthday party and there's plenty of fun to be had for the kids with building sandcastles, playing football, spending time with granddad and generally having an adventure with their distant family. However, Doug and Abi have other things on their mind which they are keen to keep well hidden from the folks. Unfortunately for them, it seems their children have extraordinary memories for things they've heard - especially when they're things they really shouldn't have - and it could be that the uncomfortable secret their parents are bearing will be revealed to everyone they hoped it wouldn't.
Continue: What We Did On Our Holiday Trailer
Ben Miller has joined the cast of Doctor Who.
Ben Miller is to play a villain on Doctor Who, facing off against Peter Capaldi in the forthcoming season. Miller, best known for his comedy work opposite Alexander Armstrong, will appear in an episode penned by Mark Gatiss set to air later in 2014.
"As a committed Whovian I cannot believe my luck in joining the Twelfth Doctor for one of his inaugural adventures," the actor and comic said, "My only worry is that they'll make me leave the set when I'm not filming."
Continue reading: Ben Miller To Face Off Against Peter Capaldi In 'Doctor Who'
Four pals go their separate ways for a fateful weekend. Shannon (Lovibond) is struggling with dark emotions as her parents split up, but her friends seem too busy to listen. Cass (Egerton) is flying to New York for an important audition and also to lose her virginity to an internet friend, but neither go as planned. Kerrys (Warren-Markland) is the loudest member of her boisterous family, clashing with her brother (Chillin) while her girlfriend (Fielding) cheers her on. And Jo (Roberts) is stuck working in the family shop through two eventful nights.
Continue reading: 188.8.131.52 Review
Try as she might, Stiles doesn't fit comfortably within the framework. Her slightly deep voice has an intelligence to it that physically undermines her attempts to slum. Yet she persists. Unfortunately, I fear the onslaught of Down to You, Save the Last Dance, and now The Prince & Me has left Stiles a little stunted and worse for wear. She's spent so much time in the teen ghetto that even when she emerges in an allegedly grown-up movie like Mona Lisa Smile, something feels off. An aura of routine hangs in the air, and other actresses upstage her. Stiles may, in real life, resemble her character in The Prince & Me: smart, down-to-earth and good-humored. It's a tribute to the thinness of her starring roles that she still manages to come off awkward, even fake.
Continue reading: The Prince & Me Review
Johnny English (Atkinson) is a third-string spy working for British intelligence. When his uncontrollable bungling blows up all of England's first- and second-string spies, English is the only hope to save the precious crown jewels (and his country) from the plot of evil French mastermind Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovich). Along the way, fellow spy Lorna Campbell (Natalie Imbruglia -- okay, so English isn't really the last spy in Britain, which raises questions best left unanswered) steps in to give English and his less moronic assistant, Bough (Ben Miller), a hand.
Continue reading: Johnny English Review
Americans have made the "Austin Powers" movies their James Bond spoof of choice, but in "Johnny English" the British strike back with native dry-wit buffoon Rowan Atkinson starring as a bumblingly inept secret agent called up from desk duty when his own ineffectual security gets all the country's top spies killed by a single bomb.
Atkinson's career as a side-splitter pinnacled in the 1980s with a brilliantly acid-tongued historical comedy on the BBC called "Black Adder" (which can still be seen on many rogue PBS stations). He's probably best known this side of the pond for his obnoxious "Mr. Bean" TV series or as the nervous rookie minister in "Four Weddings and a Funeral."
In "Johnny English" he plays a third-tier intelligence operative with delusions of grandeur and an amusingly paper-thin facade of poise, which along with the over-pronounced features of his rubbery face is just funny enough to sustain the snickers between out-loud laughs in this hit-and-miss comedy.
Continue reading: Johnny English Review
Let me begin this review of the insultingly trite, insipidly twinkly, romantically suspect and aggressively unoriginal fairytale "The Prince and Me" with the least of the movie's thousands upon thousands of problems: It takes place in Wisconsin and Denmark between the months of September and January, and yet the trees are green, there's no snow on the ground and the characters never wear anything heavier than a long-sleeve shirt.
It's a movie in which all European royalty speak with English accents no matter what country they're from. It's a movie in which a character moves into a dorm room and starts taking classes 24 hours after deciding to go to college. (Admissions process? What's that?) It's a movie without an ounce of chemistry between its romantic leads, and it's a movie in which people are supposed to learn What's Really Important In Life -- and yet it cops out and goes for the crowd-pleaser ending that doesn't jive with the lessons supposedly learned.
But these are merely symptoms of a much larger problem, which is that there is not a single creative plot point, original line of dialogue, unique personality trait or even fresh note of music in the entire everygirl-meets-royal-hottie fantasy.
Continue reading: The Prince & Me Review
Date of birth
24th February, 1966
Life’s too short to
Thank you for all the birthday wishes. Here’s a picture of David Mamet. https://t.co/yRaKQv4Kjp
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@chefjsdouglas We absolutely loved it, thanks so much. Will be taking you up on the master class offer! :)
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Outrageous hi jinks on the Paddington 2 bus. https://t.co/mfYIOLMM63
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Although its story easily could have spun right off the rails, this British comedy uses...
When Doug (David Tennant) and his family travel to the Scottish Highlands for his father's...
Three young children are about to learn what adulthood is really like when they take...
There's an interesting idea in this film, as we watch four people over the same...
Fun fact about Julia Stiles, teen movie vet: She isn't much good in teen movies....
Rowan Atkinson is a very funny man. Unfortunately, though his British television shows Mr. Bean...
Americans have made the "Austin Powers" movies their James Bond spoof of choice, but in...