A Long Way Down

"OK"

A Long Way Down Review


With a darkly serious theme and a corny rom-com filmmaking approach, this film never quite comes together into something meaningful. The characters are full of possibilities, and the story catches the imagination, but director Pascal Chaumeil (Heartbreaker) never seems sure whether he's making a black comedy or an emotional drama.

It starts on New Year's Eve in London, as disgraced TV host Martin (Pierce Brosnan) decides to jump off a tower block. But he's interrupted by the arrival of the timid Maureen (Toni Collette), who is followed by the fiery Jess (Imogen Poots) and the secretive J.J. (Aaron Paul). Together, these four lost souls make a pact to stay alive for six more weeks until Valentine's Day, the next popular suicide date in the calendar. But their story leaks to the press, capitalising on Martin's notoriety and the fact that Jess is the daughter of a high-profile politician (Sam Neill). So they decide to escape to the sunshine for some peace.

Instead of playing this out as a brittle exploration of identity and societal expectations, the filmmakers opt for a romantic-comedy formula, with a four-way friendship standing in for the usual love story. This makes the film feel like a substandard Richard Curtis movie, constantly drifting into maudlin sentimentality. And director Chaumeil encourages the cast to overplay every scene, which makes it tricky to believe any of the characters.

Poots suffers most as the shouty Jess, whose depression is connected to the disappearance of her sister. Collette overplays Maureen's shyness after years on her own tending to her disabled son. Paul's J.J. says he has cancer but clearly just feels like a failure. And Brosnan has the most thankless role as a man convicted of underage-sex, ruining his career and family, and yet all he can say in response is, "I thought she was 25."

Yes, the script takes a startlingly glib approach to all of the big issues it's touching on. And the formulaic plot feels pushy in all the wrong ways. So we never believe for a second that these people are genuinely suicidal or that they would want to spend more than a few minutes in each others' presence. And even though the fine actors bring moments of real emotion to their scenes, we don't really want to be around them either.

Watch 'A Long Way Down' Trailer


 



A Long Way Down

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 5th June 2014

Box Office USA: $13.1k

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: BBC Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 21%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 38

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Pascal Chaumeil

Starring: as Martin Sharp, as Penny, as J.J., as Jess Crichton, as Chris, as Maureen, as Kathy, as Cas, as Matty, Priyanga Burford as Reporter, Zara White as Shanay

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.