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Home > Media

Shit, actually

10 September 2004

We haven't seen the new romantic comedy Wimbledon, but the dreaded words 'from the makers of Bridget Jones' Diary, Notting Hill and Love, Actually' give a reasonable idea of what the hapless viewer may be in for:

- Bumbling English chaps who can't express their feelings accurately and succinctly, despite apparently having spent their formative years in the best education money can buy.

- People from contrasting backgrounds falling in love, and somehow never having to deal with the long-term problems that would surely beset a relationship between, say, a prime minister and a cockney moron who makes the tea.

- A fictional UK that implies the entire British nation could easily be featured in Tatler/Country Living/Horse and Hound, and which is obviously aimed at the sort of Americans who go on holiday to Italy and are shocked when they can't meet the Pope.

- The misguided assumption that any scene can be made funny by Rowan Atkinson. Thank God Peckinpah never decided to 'lighten up' the rape scene in Straw Dogs - we'd have had Atkinson gurning at the window before falling off a ladder. Possibly with a bucket on his head.

If this little reminder of the true horror of British rom-coms hasn't already ejected your breakfast, then consider the glowing reviews featuring the word 'heart-warming' that accompany them. Reviews that, post-viewing, seem to have been written about a different film. To avoid confusion about whether you should see a British comedy, just use the following review translations:

- Another triumph: Much like the last one, but with fewer jokes.

- Brilliant!: This reviewer works for some crap celebrity tittle- tattle magazine, where all films are 'brilliant!', or we don't get to go to the preview.

- Cameo roles: Mr Bean.

- Charming: Kindest thing that can be said about this boring, stupid, unfunny film.

- Feel-good: Nauseating.

- Heart-warming: Only for Richard Curtis' bank manager.

- Mismatched love story: Out of common humanity, let your boyfriend go and see Black Hawk Down in a different auditorium.

- Quirky: Yup, it's a sub-Morcambe and Wise romp about window cleaners who get embroiled in a diamond heist.

- Single woman: Yup, it's Bridget Jones VI.

- Whimsical: Features deeply implausible storyline, eg. Brit wins Wimbledon.

- Witty: Contains lines like 'Ah, oh, um, ah, oh, um, bugger, oh, ah, um, fuck!'

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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