2 out of 10
Release date: 29th November 2013
Director: MJ Delaney
Cast: Sheridan Smith, Jaime Winstone, Kate Nash, Oona Chaplin, Rian Steele, Sarah Hoare with Antonia Bernath and Johnnie Fiori
Writer: Rachel Hirons
Trailer: THE POWDER ROOM
Oh oh. Now The Powder Room may have worked as a stage play at a sixth form drama college but as a film it flunks on just about every level. It drowns in cliches, weak characterisation, awkward and over flashy editing gimmicks and a well worn story to tell. The game cast can’t do anything to gain favour for a film which locks each and every single character into a pitiless and dislikeable cliche. A movie solely confined to a nightclub can be done successfully – any fans of The Powder Room should take a look at Willy Russell’s Dancin’ Thru The Dark which tackles virtually every cliche going with aplomb and still remains to this day one of the funniest UK films of the 1980s. The Powder Room will only be remembered by a small number as one to avoid I was the only person at the cinema to see this (in my screening) and I still felt embarrassed. Embarrassed for up and coming actress Sheridan Smith (THE HARRY HILL MOVIE) and other good performers like Rian Steele (TREACLE JR) and Jaime Winstone (DEAD SET) scrabbling around for pathos or weak laughs. However, it’s all tightly produced and put together but it’s still a slog to sit through.
Insecure Sam (SHERIDAN SMITH) arranges to meet posh friends on holiday from Paris, Michelle (singer KATE NASH) and Jess (OONA CHAPLIN – GAME OF THRONES) for a night out at her local club. She crosses paths with her more rowdy and uncouth friends; Chanel (JAIME WINSTONE), SASKIA (SARAH HOARE) and Paige (RIAN STEELE) and sets to keep the two factions apart. This decision makes for a difficult night as the club is only small and the two parties keep on coming into contact with one another. Of course the moneyed friends are appalling and the moneyless are the salt of the earth – this being a movie. Sam is a completely unsympathetic lead character because she’s not true to her ‘real’ friends and sucks up to her posh Parisian friends for most of the running time until the well-sign posted denouement arrives.
The onscreen gimmicks to chop up the scenes and give the whole thing a bit of pizzazz are largely old hats and were going out of style ten years ago in films like Requiem For A Dream or Human Traffic. So not even the decoration adds much. The film could have gotten by on a good soundtrack but this opportunity is squandered too. Good acting alone got me through, but sadly the story, the script and pretty much everything else scuppered The Powder Room.
2 out of 10 – A pretty stinky failure, elevated by a committed cast and little else. A film out of time that thinks it’s cooler, flashier and down with the kids, only it isn’t. It may have been 15 years ago though. Dig out DANCIN THRU THE DARK for the same, only funnier. Poor Sheridan Smith has to survive The Harry Hill Movie next! Poor girl.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Sheridan Smith: Cilla (TV), The Harry Hill Movie, Quartet, Hysteria, Tower Block, How To Stop Being a Loser
- Jaime Winstone: Love Rosie, uwantme2killhim?, Wild Bill (2012), Elfie Hopkins, Anuvahood, Made In Dagenham, Dead Set (TV), Kidulthood, Donkey Punch
- Kate Nash: Syrup
- Oona Chaplin: Dates (TV), Game of Thrones (TV)
- Rian Steele: Treacle Jr, Sket
- Antonia Bernath: Stalled (voice), Cuckoo, St Trinians, Holby City (TV)