Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Starter for 10|
Actors: James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall, Alice Eve, Mark Gatiss, Robert Cawsey
Director: Tom Vaughan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
From the producers of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, comes a rollicking bittersweet comedy about British university life in the '80s. James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland) stars as Brian, a working class student from Essex n... more »
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Jeannine W. (jrelehw) from LONDONDERRY, NH
Reviewed on 11/7/2010...
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A charming, intelligent comedy about growing up
Dafydd Mac an Leigh | Waltham, MA USA | 08/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"From a very young age, Brian Jackson has crammed his mind with facts and knowledge, and now he's off to university for more. But the most important lesson he has to learn is that knowledge and wisdom are not the same thing.
Brian quickly makes a strong impression in academia, especially when he gets onto the school team for University Challenge, the wildly popular quiz show he grew up watching with his father. But the rest of life isn't so easy: Brian falls head-over-heels for his beautiful but self-centered teammate Alice, who leads him on despite having no real interest in intimacy; his mother, now ten years widowed, has found a new lover; he just can't sort out his feelings for Rebecca, a student activist with more than a passing interest in him; his blue-collar mates from home are starting to regard him as a class traitor; and any time he tries to be clever or impulsive, it always goes awry.
James McAvoy, who has already won great critical acclaim for his skills in dramatic roles, shows that he is equally adept in comedy, giving Brian an aw-shucks charm that keeps him loveable despite his penchant for saying exactly the wrong thing. Among the rest of the cast, the two greatest standouts are Benedict Cumberbatch, who steals his every scene as the hilariously snobbish team captain, and the extraordinarily talented Rebecca Hall, who plays Rebecca with such spirit and beauty that you can't help rooting for Brian to come around and realize that she's the one for him. Veteran thespians Charles Dance and Lindsay Duncan have a brilliant cameo as Alice's parents, and Mark Gatiss makes a convicing Bamber Gascoigne (the long-time host of University Challenge, and a real-life icon of British TV).
The script is witty, and gives new twists to the traditional conventions of romantic comedy. The climax on the set of University Challenge, and an earlier scene involving a misguided reference to The Graduate, are particularly well done. I can't help feeling, though, that the movie missed a few good opportunities as well. I understand the need to streamline the story, but I can't help feeling that they streamlined too much: fun characters disappear not long after they're introduced, certain aspects of Brian's schoolyear are mentioned when they should have been shown, and so on.
All the same, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and highly recommend it for any fans of romantic comedy, British film, or movies with cool '80s soundtracks."
Nice little movie! James McAvoy's GREAT!
T. G. Baudouin | Mexico City, MEXICO | 08/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found this movie quite charming -much to do with the fact that James McAvoy is the central figure in it...I truly think we'll find him in a lot of good films in the future, which is GREAT!-.
The movie's the story of a boy who struggles to find himself while growing up -falling in love and making mistakes on a university TV quiz show are trascendantal-
You can get easily related to it...even more if you have had interest in accumulating a lot of useless -yet fascinating- data in your brain to feel more intellectual or to guarantee yourself a "special" place in this world. Simple,sweet, funny and as I said before...charming!"
Kooky, romantic comedy
WV Born | Charlotte, NC | 11/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James McAvoy has that affable quality which makes the viewer like him even when he is being a bit of a prat. That is true throughout this DVD. The storyline is a little "low key," as the adaptation of the book to the screen was not as effective as it could be, but the performances are strong, and the viewer will not feel "cheated" when he finishes watching the film."