Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Tamsen Greig, Dominic Cooper
One of those British ensemble pieces set in a stereotypical English village setting of pretty lanes, cows in fields and thatched, flowered cottages … peopled by an assortment of off-centre, often slightly dotty, characters.
We have the brooding country lad, the visiting rock star, a couple of stalking fans, the arrogant novelist, the cheated wife and, though she is not necessarily the central character, Tamara Drewe (Arterton) returning to her birthplace as a sophisticated and glamorous journalist, having left as a gawky young girl.
It goes without saying that her return, since it is largely conducted by Arterton in skimpy cut denims, sends the males into a right old tizzy.
The film is based on the comic strip by Posy Simmonds that ran in the Guardian, and it looks like it: it’s a film full of cardboard, cartoon characters and very middle class in outlook.
It is charming in parts, good to look at, funny but hardly ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ (which gets its share of comparisons). There is no real depth of character to be found in the Harding classic of rural lust and drama.
We have here a passable, amusing but hardly innovative little time-server.
Star Rating: 3/5