5 out of 10

Release Date: 14th April 2010

Director: Ricky Gervais (Life On The Road / Special Correspondents / Derek (TV) / Life’s Too Short (TV) / The Invention of Lying / Extras (TV) / The Office (TV))  & Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies – The Movie / Hello Ladies (TV) / Life’s Too Short (TV) / Extras (TV) / The Office (TV))

Cast: Christian Cooke, Felicity Jones, Tom Hughes, Jack Doolan, Matthew Goode, Ricky Gervais, Julia Davis, Anne Reid, David Earl, Bryonny Hannah, Francis Magee, Steve Spiers, Burn Gorman, Stephen Merchant with Emily Watson and Ralph Fiennes

Writer: Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant


Cemetery-Junction-PosterRicky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s (THE OFFICE)feature film debut is OK. It’s solidly plotted and contains a few stirring moments. The humour (as you’d expect is laddish) is occasionally sharp but on the whole, all the good jokes and one of the really unfunny ones are milked to death. It’s a shame that it plays such a straight game with the audience.

Set in 1973 in Reading, three mates; Bruce (TOM HUGHES – 8 MINUTES IDLE), Freddie (CHRISTIAN COOKE – ELECTRICITY) and Snork (JACK DOOLAN – GREEN STREET 3) waste their days in dead end jobs and dream of different things like travelling, high powered jobs and getting laid.  When Freddie gets a job at local insurance firm The Vigilante he gets re-acquainted with his childhood sweetheart Julie (FELICITY JONES – LIKE CRAZY) who is the daughter of the boss (RALPH FIENNES – HAIL CAESAR) and the girlfriend of his new supervisor (MATTHEW GOODE – SELF/LESS). She’s a caged free-spirit who dreams of becoming a nature photographer. Freddie quickly notices that she’s doomed to become like her ghost-like mother, played  by Emily Watson (EVEREST). Meanwhile, Bruce gets into scrapes and increasingly dangerous fight, whilst Snork fills tries to meet girls whilst the love of his life is sat right under his nose.

All the cast perform well in slim and underwritten roles and few of them develop beynd types. The film only really comes to life when Ricky Gervais, Sheila Reid (LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX) and JULIA DAVIS (FOUR LIONS) as Freddie’s family begin to have a hilarious session of put downs and bickering. Another scene at a winner’s ball function at the Vigilant is spookily accurate and telling. Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson and Matthew Goode can do this sort of thing in their sleep and they excel in small supporting roles. It’s just a shame that the plot is ploddingly predictable and plain.

The 1970s humour is a bit at odds with the rest of the content too with the main three calling each other benders every few minutes. It’s a bit old hat and unfunny.  Shoddy period detail distracts as well, namely modern windows and patio doors. Also it’s not filmed with 100 miles of a town that looks like Reading. Ever been to Cemetery Junction? This film look slike it was made in Somerset.

5 out of 10 – Perfectly watchable but too predictable and not funny enough to be memorable. Filled with over-qualified actors caught marking time.



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