A 1970s-set comedy centered on three young working class friends in a dreary suburb of Reading.
This is my favourite type of film; a witty romantic tale. However, when it goes wrong, it can be the worst type of film. I think Cemetery Junction falls in-between those categories.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have written this film surprisingly well, its very warm and not covered in nostalgia. Its seen more of a dramatic turnout for the pair, but as expected, the writing is at its best when it is being funny. It really is hilarious at times and thank god for the Office legends for not forgetting how brilliant they are at comedy. Their direction is also first class, being incredibly diverse for a simple movie like this. There is this wonderful scene in a nightclub late on in the film that is just pure brilliance.
What lets this film down, is its backbone narrative. It doesn’t really challenge its formula of its genre, and moves along in a very samey way. It fails to really take off, and just has its moments now and again. Not really being a satire, it tries to make a morale look at things, and it just falls miserably short. Its at its best when it is being fully in its genre, such as the romantic aspects or its comedic ones. However, plenty of silly stuff and blankness ruin it. Thankfully, its like-able and pleasant enough for you to keep your eyes and ears open for some Gervais-Merchant magic.
Christian Cooke as Freddie Taylor is the standout for me in the leading roles; hes far more real and sympathetic than the rest of the cast. He’s is far more superior to Tom Hughes, who plays this cool as ice Bruce Pearson, and just ends up stuck in the conflicts of his character. Ralph Fiennes is of course really good and terrifying, though bitterly underused and cliched. Felicity Jones is really trapped for most of the film, but when allowed to actually do something is good in her role. Everyone else apart from maybe Ricky Gervais, who is hysterical, falls behind their dodgy cliched character fiasco masks.
You’ll be smiling at the end of this movie, and I promise you will be pleasantly surprised by how wonderfully directed it is. Just don’t expect anything especially new.
Cemetery Junction is terribly un-original and frustratingly dull at times, but is saved by a masterclass from Gervais and Merchant. – 3.5/5
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