School For Seduction

Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Kelly Brook, Daymon Britton, Margi Clarke, Tim Healy, Dervla Kirwan, Neil Stuke

Director: Sue Heel

So the latest Britcom comes to our screens with the hope that it will put the wind back into the sales of British comedy. Is this the film to set the good ship Britcom back on course and away from the clashing rocks of cliche? Well, no. I’m afraid not. There isn’t enough puff here to blow the seeds of a dandelion head never mind billowing sails.

This is another play on the too well worn story of lives being changed forever when a stranger hits town; although lets be honest Kelly Brook would turn a few heads if she arrived in your town. The fact is, I was born in Newcastle, so it is my town, but the location is so underused, it makes me think that this script was written 10 or so years ago before regeneration took place. Although these characters still do exist, it really is a cliched view of the lives of Geordie women, desperate to show that life is grim up north but a little touch of class could change everything. Just a shame the script doesn’t adhere to this philosophy.

The story, as slight as it is, revolves around an Italian temptress (Brook) arriving in Newcastle hoping to teach a group of Geordie women about the art of romance, the title’s School For Seduction. Does it all work? You’ll have to go and see for yourself, or wait until this is shown on TV in the future, which it is far better suited for and could be one of the better things to watch on an autumn night. If this isn’t where it’s planned to go, it should be, as it would be an above average film on TV, no more.

The performances are fine, bar the fact that several voices have been badly dubbed and are uneven. Main culprit/victim of this is Emily Woof. I knew Emily when I lived in Newcastle so can only imagine it was a sound/post production problem rather than phoney accent, although Emily still does come across as a background extra done good. By that I mean the kind of person you see in the background in the cafe in Friends, being silent but still over (re)acting. Sorry Emily, your obviously very talented and have done very well, but still think you need to find your muse, perhaps it’s behind the camera or writing instead of always playing downtrodden women like this.

All in all this is a solid little film, but you may begrudge paying to see this at the cinema rather than seeing it free on TV as all you need do is step into any pub in any town to hear much funnier dialogue. I think the writers thought that Newcastle was where BILLY ELLIOT was set and should be a perfect setting for this kind of kitchen ink drama. As I said, perhaps years ago it would have worked, but not so much now. I really don’t want to be too harsh on this, it’s a good enough effort, it’s just not my cup of tea, or should I say pint of brown ale and I wish any British writer or director the best, but have to say I found it all a little disappointing, although Brook was much better than expected.

Dr Kuma’s verdict: Solid, but GET CARTER still remains the only excellent picture made in Newcastle and this is so cliched I was expecting THE LIKELY LADS or the cast from AUF WIEDERSEHEN PET to pop up any minute. Oh I forgot – Tim Healy did!

3 out of 6 stars

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