Dir: Tony Britten | Cast: John Hurt, Niamk Cusack, James Wilby, Dame Eileen Atkins | Comedy | 90min | UK
Writer/director Tony Britten’s (In Love with Alma Cogan, Benjamin Britten: Peace and Conflict) latest feature provides some welcome humour this summer with its stellar British cast of John Hurt; Niamh Cusack, Caroline Katz, Cathy Tyson, James Wilby and Dame Eileen Atkins to name but an impressive few.
Set in a north Norfolk village where an upmarket mixture of Brexiteers and eclectic London ‘ex-pats’ have found a quieter existence, the story follows their collective bright idea of using an erotic (aka ‘mummy porn’) novel in the style of “50 Shades of Grey” as a vehicle to raise funds to prevent their local pub from closing its doors on this recherché community.
The ensuing caper is amusingly scripted by Oliver Britten lampooning a series of caricatures (the sexy barrister; the sardonic literary agent; the gay booksellers, the aspiring novelist and the TV exec) all played wittily by a fabulous cast, who gently send each other up. The slightly bumbling chaps get together in the pub one night and agree to each pen several pages of purple prose together to form the book which is then delivered to said literary agent (Eileen Atkins in classic form) where it is snapped up. However, there is a catch, the interested publisher (John Hurt) stipulates a female author – and not four middle class blokes – to spearhead the book’s publicity campaign. Keeping their involvement a secret, they engage an out of work actress to ‘role play’ the part of the author but the tables are turned on the guys when she takes control.
Combining TV and film talent CHICK LIT is an enjoyable comedy drama of the kind you might enjoy on BBC1: it’s amusingly written, attractively filmed and impeccably performed by the best of British acting talent, and best of of all – it doesn’t take itself seriously. MT
In UK cinemas from September 2nd courtesy of Capriol Films and VOD Trinity | VoD from September 12th with a US release planned for Autumn 2016