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  Someone Else
Col Spector

James Cross
posted 6 September 2007

This is a pretty clichéd, London-set, picture about middle-class, thirtysomething British men working out their relationships, or not, as the case may be. But it stands out against the likes of Notting Hill or other cosy, lovey-dovey Brit flicks in its irony and its sadness, and because it’s a tale told mainly from the male point of view.

I’ll start with something positive: some of the more intimate dialogues that establish the relationships between the various different characters in the film are really witty, and I enjoyed the way they sway between sarcasm and emotional openness; there was something quite moving and realistic about this.

But I just kept thinking to myself – and this might be more about me than about the film - ‘Do guys really think like this?’ David (played by Stephen Mangan) dumps the girl he was in love with for a fling that’s going nowhere and now he’s got no hope of getting back together with his ex. I’d be in tears. But David is the sort of bloke who has closer relationships with his part-time postman than he does with his ‘girlfriend’. David couldn’t tell a love story if it glowed in his face.

There are no tears in this film. It’s probably the most passionless romantic movie I’ve ever seen. If David’s sapped emotional life and frankly stagnant approach to life was the point of the movie, then these were qualities well represented in the overall tone: boring, boring, boring.

The film’s redeeming feature is that it’s quite funny and some of the dialogues are clever. But it’s not an outrageous laugh or the next Woody Allen production. Another redeeming feature is the lovely Edwardian terrace interiors, providing great ideas for any filmgoers thinking of renovating their homes. Also, some of the actors’ expressions are amusing to watch, especially considering the material they had to work with.

No, frustratingly, there is nothing dire about this film. It is professionally composed, professionally carried out – and professionally dull as ditch water. A thoroughly mediocre effort all round.


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