THE COMEDIAN

5 out of 10

Release Date: 31st May 2013

Director: Tom Shlkonik

Cast: Edward Hogg, Elisa Lasowski, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Steven Robertson, Jamie Baughan, Nyasha Hatendi, Brett Goldstein and Gerard Murphy

Writer: Tom Shloknik

Trailer: THE COMEDIAN

TO BE PROOFREAD: Is everybody who lives in the UK gay? Or at least bi-sexual? I’m not being homophobic (or maybe I am unintentionally) but it seems that every ‘sensible’ movie to come out of the UK revolves around openly gay characters?  It seems that I’ve been watching a lot of UK dramas recently (some of them ace – see Weekend) – that also happen to have a lot of naked guys grinding against one another. Which brings me to this unusually droll London-set drama ‘The Comedian‘.  It revolves around an unfunny amateur stand up comedian called Ed (EDWARD HOGG – BUNNY AND THE BULL) who works full-time in an oppressive (all too real) call-centre .  After a particularly crap night on stage he meets Nathan (NATHAN STEWART-JARRETT – MISFITS) and embarks on an affair. He is also processing an unrealised attraction to his female housemate Elsa (ELISA LASOWSKI – SOMERS TOWN). The pressures of being an early 30s underachiever are finding the shiftless Ed in a round of situations that he cant make sense of to himself let alone his confusing lover, his housemate and a distant family.

The Comedian is well acted but ultimately too dreary and fey to be effective. Ive read that this is largely improvised, which gives it extra stripes because nobody is caught acting. The stand up comedy is intentionally unfunny, Ed is dopey and evasive, and the scenes just wander into one another. One stand out scene is a fight on a double decker buses with some anti-gay teenage girls – who say Nathan is ‘a disgrace to black men’ – it’s also the scene in which Elisa discovers that Ed also likes men.  Yet, the last scene is probably the worst ‘real-life’ scene I’ve ever sat through with our main character settling for the bumper sticker platitudes of a London cabbie (NYASHA HATENDI) to salve his wounds. On the whole The Comedian isn’t a bad film, it’s just an inconsequential one. I just wanted to give the main character a shake and I think that’s the general idea. It’s a film about how unfocused and directionless men of a certain age appear to be and how we can drift from shit job to shit job without ever progressing. Its just a shame that its not a little bit more interesting.  This made the endless sex scenes even more pointless. I got over seeing nude men in the 80s when every other Channel Four movie was about a famous homosexual – it just seems to be that to get financing for a serious drama film in the UK the main characters have to be either a) gay or b) over 70 or c) royal.   The makers of The Comedian blatantly got the memo.

5 out of 10 – Wetter than a fish’s ballbag… Well acted drippy-ness though.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Edward Hogg: Road Games, How To Live Yours, Kill Your Friends, The Program, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (TV), Indian Summers (TV),  Jupiter Ascending, Isle of Dogs, Anonymous, Bunny and The Bull, Brothers Of The Head, The Mighty Boosh (TV)
  • Elisa Lasowski: Picnic In Gaza, Hyena, Keeping Rosy, Somers Town
  • Nathan Stewart-Jarrett: Two Down, War Book, Utopia (TV), The Face of an Angel, Dom Hemingway, Misfits (TV)
  • Steven Robertson: Brighton Rock (2011), Being Human (TV), Inside I’m Dancing
  • Brett Goldstein: How To Live Yours, Superbob, Howl (2015), Everyone’s Going To Die, #Legacy, Hoff The Record (TV), Derek (TV) The Hooligan Factory, The Knot
  • Gerard Murphy: The Scarlet Pimpernel (TV), McCallum (TV), Waterworld
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