The sudden reappearance of his best friend Toni, after ten years absence, causes Chris to remember his past, to question some of his lifestyle decisions and to re-evaluate his life and marriage to Marion.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Retired Commuter
Boris Terral ...
Punk Girl
Bill Thomas ...
Middle-Aged Commuter
Bethan Fairbairn ...
Daisy Fairbairn ...
Del Bartle ...
One of The Subverts


After ten years absence Toni, Chris's best friend, suddenly reappears in London to bring chaos and doubt into Chris's calm, tranquil, slightly boring, predictable life. Chris starts to remember his carefree youth as a photographer in Paris when he lived with and enjoyed a torrid affair with Annick. It was also in Paris that he first met and fell in love with Marion. The temptations and pressure exerted on Chris by Toni to return to their former carefree life of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll soon starts to have an impact on Chris's marriage. He starts to question his values, his lifestyle choices and his relationship with Marion and even suspects her of starting an affair with Toni whom she dislikes! Eventually circumstances come to a head and Chris is forced to decide whether to follow Toni back to the hedonistic, irresponsible life of his youth or face the harsh realities of the present and stay with Marion. Written by Mark Smith <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Metroland is not a location - it is a state of mind.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

21 August 1998 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Keskellä elämää  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$26,682 (USA) (9 April 1999)


$299,463 (USA) (4 June 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


When sitting in the Pub talking about sleeping with "other" women and having sex with the same person for so long, the song heard on the juke-box in the background is Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing". Although an early version of the song had indeed been recorded in June 1977 and even received significant airplay in London, the particular version heard wasn't recorded until mid 1978. See more »


Marion: Anyway, I want it to be you that I make love to.
Chris: It's me! It's me, darling!
Marion: No, it's not. It's eight pints of lager with an erection.
See more »


Destroy the Hoi Polloi
Composed by Del Bartle and Danny De Matos
Performed by The Subverts
See more »

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User Reviews

Strangers in the night
17 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

It's 1977 and Chris is a 30ish bloke who still has the eager, wistful face of an angelic adolescent, enjoys a placid existence in the London suburbs, taking comforting in his wife, his baby, and his garden. Yet he's a haunted man. Spurred by the arrival of Toni, his rakish counterculture chum, he is tormented by visions of what might have been - the enticing word of sexual possibility he left behind, embodied in memories of his blissed out love affair with a sultry secretary during his bohemian Paris days in the late '60s. As the film glides back and forth between eras, the churning of Chris' heart comes to the force with with disarming intimacy. We feel as if we're seeing the formation of an individual: his all too brief fling with hedonism, the sadness and hidden wisdom of a path that seems to have choosen him rather than the other way around. "Metroland" is a no-fuss movie that casts a rich, tranquil spell. It's a rare portrait of a happy marriage that is honest about the complex currents of desire, and the drama is beautifully played by Bale who gawks with soulful sweetness, and Emily Watson does her most piercing work since "Breaking the waves."

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