Thursday, 4 July 2013

Not Another Happy Ending - EIFF 2013




Hello and thank you for calling "Dial-a-cliche".  Currently all of our operatives are busy on other calls but if you are in desperate need of a cliche we would like to recommend that you watch "Not Another Happy Ending".  Trust us, there isn't a single cliche from either rom-com or Scottish "culture" that the makers of this film haven't shoe-horned into this utterly risible piece of cinema.

Thanks again for your call.

If you do decide to watch "Not Another Happy Ending" can we also take this chance to provide you with the number for The'll need it.

A rom-com should be two things...romantic and comedic.

"Not Another Happy Ending" has decided to do something truly groundbreaking by being neither.

There were more laughs in Gasper Noe's "Irreversible" than there were in this.

More romance too.

Before the screening I had to endure the awful sight of Chris Fujiwara gamely trying to present this film in a manner that made it sound like we were in for a treat.  Fujiwara is a serious and well respected figure in the world of film.  He is a film journalist and author.  He is supremely knowledgeable on a variety of different directors, genres and actors.  To find himself presenting a film such as this must have been the lowest point of his very distinguished career.

The lead roles are played by Karen Gillan and Stanley Weber...between them they conjure up less chemistry than a GCSE biology textbook.  They play hateful and two dimensional characters in a hateful and one dimensional film.  Gillan is particularly dreadful...a wonderful clothes horse she may be but an actress with any comic ability she is not.  She has all the presence and personality of a Coldplay album.  As for Weber, a man with a fine pedigree (his dad is Jacques Weber) but who manages to honk his way through this film like a demented seal.

Dull and duller.

Neither is helped by a script that seems to revel in the trite and the twee.  Set in the oh so glamorous world of Glasgow publishing we are treated to a host of spectacularly tepid character sketches but no real people.  One such character is a school teacher who, hilariously, teaches his pupils half-truths and bald faced lies...honestly, I was in stitches...until I remembered that I wasn't.  The comedic highlight of this characters journey is when he pretends to be, wait for it, an old man who drives a taxi!  How does he pull this off?  He puts on a flat cap, glasses and wraps a scarf around his face!  I told you.  Brilliant.

The film does have one moment of genuine dramatic tension though.  Webers character is Gillans encourage her to finish her second novel he decides she must be made miserable and so to ensure that she is plunged headlong into the sort of despair that gives birth to great art he...steals her pot plant.  At that point everyone in the cinema was on the edge of their seats.  Gripping doesn't come close to describing this.

There are very many excellent films that you haven't seen.  Find one of those and be thankful that I watched this on your behalf.