Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tamara Drewe (2010) [R] ****


Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) was once the ugly duckling in her little Dorset village of Ewedown. Now a glamorous London journalist with face-changing plastic surgery, a curvaceous body and new-found self esteem, Tamara (pronounced ta-MAR-a) has returned to sell her late mother's house.

To prepare the house for sale, she's hired former flame Andy Cobb (Luke Evans), who also works for a neighboring estate, where pretentious old author, and serial philanderer, Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam) and his wife Beth (Tamsin Greig) run a year-round weekend writers' retreat and a poultry farm. While covering a local rock concert Tamara meets and falls for arrogant drummer Ben Sergeant (Dominic Cooper), to the great delight of his teen fan Jody (Jessica Barden) and her girlfriend Casey (Charlotte Christie). As Tamara arouses lustful feelings in Andy, Nicholas and Ben, and the bed-hopping begins, the jealous Jody breaks into Tamara's home and uses her computer to send incriminating emails. And, then Casey emails Beth a camera-phone picture of Nicholas kissing Tamara.

Adapted from a comic strip by Posy Simmonds, the screenplay by Moira Buffini is surprisingly inventive, with some wildly entertaining plot twists. Basically, this film is a raucous, very English black comedy... a sex farce with a dash of Agatha Christie. The direction by Oscar-nominated Stephen Frears (The Grifters, The Queen) is fast-paced and taut, and the use of unpredictable, celebrity-obsessed teenage girls as a plot device is hilarious, and a bit reminiscent of The World of Henry Orient. If you enjoy contemporary British romantic comedy, like About Adam, you won't want to miss Tamara Drewe

Labels: comedy, romance 
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 64/100  
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=63, viewers=62)    
Blu-ray

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