Texas Art & Film's Dr. Donna Copeland's Film Reviews & Features
 
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This is a fine character study in the dark comedy genre.  A couple just beginning a love relationship go on a sightseeing trip in a caravan through the British Isles.  The woman, Tina (Alice Lowe), has difficulty separating from her mother, who does not like Chris (Steve Oram), her boyfriend.  As the couple is driving away, she sputters to him that she does not like him, and that he is a very bad person.  Chris takes this calmly, and tells Tina just to ignore her mother, suggesting he does not take it seriously or hold it against her.

            It turns out, this is a window into his personality—he is calm about many things, patient, and friendly.  But there is a dark side, very dark.  Tina’s reaction to this quality is the most interesting part of the film.  The story takes unexpected turns every step of the way, and in the end, it is clear why/how these two got together.  The psychology of it is plausible, and the film goes one step further in showing her mother’s influence on Tina.  The role of the dog(s) in the story is interesting to ponder, and is just another element that is darkly humorous.

I think it has something to do with Tina’s view of attachments, that one object can easily be replaced with another, a nondifferentiated outlook, and her sense of entitlement stemming from a less than nurturant mother.

            I hate to go too much into the story, because it is best for the viewer see it unfold; the writers (Amy Jump, Alice Lowe, Steve Oram) are gifted storytellers, and it is delightful—despite the morbidity—to see the twists and turns.  Interestingly, two of the writers are the main characters.  Under Ben Wheatley’s direction, this is a very well done British production.

Grade:  B+

           


 



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