It’s a quirky little movie. If you like British comedies, you should probably see it. Oddly, I can’t see this being an American movie even though David Schwimmer directed it. (I think he’s found what he should be doing in film.) Not being able to get an American producer to fund it was probably the best thing that happened to him. If it was an American film, the “American schmaltz” (thanks to my British friend Paul for introducing me to that term) that producers would have demanded and the scenes they’d want change would have made it annoying. There’s a light touch of schmaltz like they’re embarrassed to show it but they know they should…I call it the “British schmaltz”.
I liked the story – the topic reminds me of About a Boy – and even though the feat that the main character achieves would be rather unbelievable in real life, it’s believable in the story. I enjoyed the relationship between the father and son, and the father and his landlord. There were places where the film could have had better timing and the some of the actors were playing the characters that they typically play. But it didn’t ruin the movie – like the guy from Blacks Books playing a toned down version of his character from the show. And Hank Azaria was good at playing the American asshole. I’m not sure if I’ve seen him in that role before, and there was no accent for him to play around with.
There are certain scenes where I noticed the cinematography/framing/lighting being good, which is unusual for me. But that might be just because I spent 11 days behind my camera on vacation.
It was worth the matinee price that we paid. And it’s the kinda of movie that grows on you – in a good way. I’d watch it again.