Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Not Only but Always|
Actors: Rhys Ifans, Aidan McArdle, Jodie Rimmer, Camilla Power, Daphne Cheung
Director: Terry Johnson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Television
This funny and moving drama probes the turbulent relationship between two performers credited with reinventing modern British satire. Tall, handsome, brilliantly glib Peter Cook and undersized musical prodigy Dudley Moore ... more »
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Cowboy Buddha | Essex UK | 12/30/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to know where to begin discussing this film. It's supposed to be a biography of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, one of Britain's finest comedy double acts, but anyone not already familiar with their life and work together will have little idea what is going on. Understanding is not helped by the director's artsy (and somewhat lazy) device of using the duo's black and white tv personas Pete 'n Dud to narrate the film and vainly try to fill in its many gaps. In the end, we have a somewhat limited impression of the two men, highlighted by elaborate and rather good impersonations of them, but not quite total performances.
Cook and Moore first found fame in the early 60's as two of the four performers of the ground breaking satirical revue Beyond The Fringe. The two of them continued to work together for a number a years, most notably on British television but also in films and occasional two-man theatre shows that were basically re-workings of their established routines. I remember seeing them in Washington in the 70's when they were doing their "Good Evening" tour. It was a wonderful performance but even more remarkable if we are to believe what this film shows going on behind the scenes at the time.
Like too many "biopics", this film pushes the comedians' actual work into the sidelines and prefers to concentrate on the tired old "tortured soul beneath the comic mask" theme. Thus it becomes hard to see why these two performers should be remembered at all. The film is a curious paradox of, on one hand, trying to cram too much in and, on the other, leaving so much out. We have only the briefest of glimpses of their work (and, it must be said, the routines are not re-created with any of the original magic). Entire chunks of their careers are overlooked - they would appear never to have made any films together other than "Bedazzled", Moore's musical career is completely diminished to a brief onstage bit but otherwise his piano playing seems only to be a way of pulling the birds, Cook's subsequent solo career is largely ignored. And yet the Derek And Clive phase seems to be given far too much prominence. Other personalities are merely hinted at in passing or else awkwardly pop up at odd moments ("Hi, I'm Blake Edwards").
Probably the film's best ingredient is the uncanny performances of the two leads - Rhys Ifans as Peter Cook and Aidan McArdle as Dudley Moore. They all have the speech patterns, mannerisms and body language down perfectly (although I felt Ifans lacked Cook's mischievous twinkle in his eye) but the disjointed script doesn't give them much chance to develop any real characterisations. Motivations such as why Moore put up with Cook for so long (assuming he was the monster the film portrays) are left unanswered. Other performances of well-known figures are basically caricatures with Jonathan Aris as Jonathan Miller particularly going over the top. Jodie Rimmer as Cook's wife Wendy manages to elicit a bit of sympathy in a largely two-dimensional role.
In the end, the film is vaguely interesting but hugely disappointing. Back in the early 60's, recordings of Beyond The Fringe (and The Goon Show) were my introduction to the weird and wonderful world of British comedy. The cliche that all those comic geniuses were tortured souls underneath may well be true. But it's the comedy that lasts, not the tantrums and squabbles that went on behind the scenes. For anyone interested in Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, I would suggest seeking out their actual work rather than this sad shadow."
Peter Cook ?
Cooking Fish | Cumbria UK | 09/21/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This film dosent begin to capture the wit,warmth or complexity of Peter Cook or the chemistry between him and Dudley Moore.Weather the script or Rhys Ifans 2 dimensional portrayal was to blame Im not sure but I suspect it was a bit(or a lot) of both.
The most telling scene for me of how this film missed the mark was the ludicrous recreation of the filming of the recording of the final Derek and Clive album Ad Nauseum released as the film Derek and Clive get the horn.Comparing the recreation with the original you realise that non of the magical interplay,irony,spontaneous humour or depth of character that these 2 unique characters enjoyed has been captured.
Allegedly Ifans turned down the role on numerous ocasions before being persuaded, on the grounds that a convincing portrayal of Cook was impossible.The best thing I can say for Ifans is that his intuition was right.
I suggest anyone wanting to get a feel for how Cook was offstage should listen to Peter Cook over at Rainbows, or to know the dynamic between Cook and Moore watch Derek and Clive Get The Horn.These 2 speak volumes."