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A delightful British comedy involving three couples attempting to get
together, `Born Romantic,' written and directed by David Kane, is a
lighthearted, feel-good film set to a heartbeat, as well as a `Salsa' beat.
It features a number of engaging performances, and offers a contemplation on
life with moments that alternate between funny and poignant; enjoyable fare
that leaves the `baggage' of the world behind for awhile to concentrate on
the more personal, intimate aspects of what makes the world go round, and a
pleasant diversion it is.
A cab driver, Jimmy (Adrian Lester), and a Salsa club are the binding threads of the story, through which the lives of the individual characters intersect. Mo (Jane Horrocks), jilted at the alter some eight years before by Fergus (David Morrissey), has moved on with her life, finding solace in men and the Latin rhythms of a local Salsa club. What she doesn't know is that Fergus, regretting that long ago decision, is back in town looking for her. Meanwhile, a somewhat passive petty thief named Eddie (Jimi Mistry), after a botched mugging ends up at the club, where he falls under the spell of a rather odd bird named Jocelyn (Catherine McCormack). Then there's Frankie (Craig Ferguson), who happens by the club where he meets Eleanor (Olivia Williams); but Frankie fancies himself a latter-day Dean Martin (`Did you see Ocean's Eleven?' he asks her at one point), and Eleanor is simply not having any of it. And it all becomes a series of ups-and-downs, ins-and-outs and highs-and-lows, as these six attempt to connect with (or avoid) one another. Along the way there is music and dancing, and without a doubt, love is in the air.
There are some subtle insights into human nature to be gleaned from this one, but mostly it's for fun and entertainment, a film that will put a smile on your face and occasionally cause you to take pause and perhaps reflect upon the state of things in your own life, as there are elements in the situations and characters depicted here that are no doubt going to hit close to home for many in the audience. To tell his story, Kane sets a brisk pace and never lets it lag, and his transitions between the storylines are executed perfectly, which gives the film a rhythm and flow that takes the viewer along with it. He has a terrific ensemble cast with which to work, and he makes the most of their talents, as evidenced by the succinct development of no less than seven characters, to the extent that you have a good grasp of who each of these individuals are and what makes them tick. And with a steady hand, Kane exacts the kind of performances that really brings it all to life.
As Frankie, the guy who tries so hard to be cool a la Dean Martin, Craig Ferguson hits the mark perfectly. If you were around in the days of the `real' Rat Pack, you no doubt knew this guy; he was the one with the affected smoothness, all the right moves (at least in his own mind) and the appropriate `nomenclature.' He could be fun for awhile, but any impression he made was mostly on himself. Happily, Ferguson captures the essence of that guy, but only the good parts. He manages to leave the boorish elements behind and opens up enough to let you see the `real' Frankie, who in reality is just a guy trying to get on with it and do the best he can. Coming off a bad marriage, he simply wants to find something (someone) good to share his life with. It's a good performance by Ferguson, who is probably best known as Mr. Wick on the `Drew Carey' television show.
Jane Horrocks (the phenomenal talent of `Little Voice') also gives a convincing performance, as does David Morrissey as Fergus. Together they make their situation believable, rather than a depiction of some ersatz fairy tale. The development of their relationship as they attempt to reconcile rings true, which makes the romantic angle all the more real and unaffected.
The most endearing couple of the bunch, however, is Jocelyn and Eddie, who prove that when it comes to romance, the odd and the eccentric will find each other, one way or another. Catherine McCormack is a delight as Jocelyn, a role that is decidedly unglamorous, but a character in which there is a unique charm nevertheless; one which McCormack finds and displays in a sensitive, sympathetic way that shines through from behind an (unattractive) pair of glasses, a neck brace and an introverted, introspective bearing. And it's touching to see Eddie, a misfit of the lowest order-- played perfectly by Mistry-- drawn to this quirky woman, in whom he is able to discern a beauty that is truly more than skin deep.
The most striking of all, however, is Eleanor, as played by Olivia Williams. Adopting a rather hardened exterior as a way of avoiding any real intimacy or commitment, Eleanor is something of a mystery woman, and Williams has a charismatic screen presence that sells it perfectly. Like Ferguson, she opens up just enough to let you see what lies beneath, and it adds a deeper perspective to her portrayal of Eleanor, and you come to understand why Frankie is drawn to her.
Finally, Adrian Lester is effective as Jimmy, the cab driver who bears the weight of a dramatic event in his own life, which is his secret alone. Jimmy is a pivotal character in the play, and Lester's portrayal lends some of the more poignant moments to the film.
Rounding out the cast are Ian Hart (Second Cab Driver), John Thomas (First Cab), Kenneth Cranham (Barney) and Louise Delamere (Maria). An upbeat story presented with music and a smile, `Born Romantic' offers a romantic interlude that cuts to the chase and leaves the baggage at the door; in all, it's a fun and satisfying experience. 8/10.
I must confess that I had never heard of this until it appeared in this
week's TV schedules.
Yet it is a wonderfully cast, plotted, written and acted film. But above all it is both funny and true-to-life. One of the best I've seen in a long time and makes me wish I'd seen it at the cinema.
"Born Romantic" uses the revolving door approach to studying the relationships of a half dozen quirky characters and their romantic relationships which are in various states of disarray. Full of wry British humor, lots of salsa dancing, and with a cab driver playing a sort of "Dan Cupid" type, "Born Romantic" is considerably more clever than its recent American counterpart "Sidewalks of New York", although they are at different ends of the romantic comedy genre. A fun and funny watch for those who enjoy British films.
This is a very enjoyable British budget film from David Kane. It probably would not win any awards but it really is a lot of fun. It contains a bunch of misfits all looking for love - they all have the local salsa club in common and the film takes place in and around this point. It has a great cast - none of them famous but all of them very well cast and you do care what happens to the characters (always a good sign)and the film is very funny. It also has a great soundtrack. If you like Latin American music and you enjoy a gentle comedy you this is a film for you! I would not hesitate to recommend this film and anything else from David Kane. If I had to give marks out of ten, it would score at least eight!
I rented this movie looking for a romantic comedy and knowing nothing about it other than it starred Craig Ferguson. I am a big fan of his, but this movie was not one that he should be proud to put on his resume! As another reviewer pointed out, there are too many subplots and not enough time to get into any of them. It was ninety minutes of drivel, truth be told. The only part that I enjoyed (which did not belong in the film one iota) was when Craig Ferguson sang in a nightclub accompanied by a band. He sounded great! While no single actor did a bad job, the material they had to work with was just subpar. Nothing fresh was done in the area of romantic comedies and the whole thing was just dull. Don't get this one! Get "Saving Grace" instead! Or "Greenfingers". Or "The Mean Machine". All 3 are in the new release section of your video store and are British movies that are much better.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sweet fluffy story about four mismatched but made for each other
couples in London: A goofy Scotsman (the always entertaining Craig
Fergusson) and a chilly art conservator; a melancholy habitué of a
cemetery and a well-meaning thief; a bitter jilted woman and the
remorseful man who left her at the altar eight years before; a cabbie
(the omg gorgeous and super-talented Adrian Lester - you remember him,
he was Henry in Primary Colors) who helps the other couples sort it out
and finally finds his way clear to put his grief for his dead wife
aside so he can embrace life (in the form of a very alive salsa
teacher) once again.
This is all played out in the aforementioned cemetery, inside Lester's cab, the winterly streets and parks of London, a salsa club, Kings Cross Station, various crappy flats and the Elgin Marbles Hall at the British Museum.
If you're home with a cold and this comes on the telly watch it.
Set in London, seven young people try to sort out their relationship
issues - or lack of them.
Fergus (David Morrissey) comes to London to try and find the girl Mo, (Jane Horrocks) that he jilted eight years before. He does find her and tries to win her back.
Eddie (Jimi Mistry) is a petty thief and all round loser. He meets a slightly strange but adorable self-employed grave decorator, Jocelyn (Catherine McCormack), steals her purse, tries to mug her at a strangely remote ATM, then tries to court her! They have one of the best scenes of the movie when she rescues his deranged dad and brings him home.
Then there is Frankie, (Craig Ferguson) trying to divorce his wife but still living in the same house. They are both seeking new partners which leads to problems about sharing space. Eleanor (Olivia Williams), his new girl, is so elegant, slightly remote but very nice too.
Jimmy (Adrian Lester) is a taxi driver who knows them all, and knows lots about them, and hands out advice. He links the various events together very effectively. All the characters go to a dance club doing salsa (whatever that is?) and this helps link the characters too.
The acting is great, there are some really good scenes and dialogue, but I've only rated it 9 because the scenes at the cab company are unnecessary and unpleasant.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Centered around a salsa club, three men pursue three women across
Fergus is trying to find his ex-girlfriend.
Charmer Frankie, is trying his hardest to pull the beautiful Eleanor.
Robber Eddie is trying to find, and also pull, one of his victims, cemetery worker Jocelyn...
In the late nineties and early noughties, there were a slew of these British romantic comedies, that were trying to be a sort of antidote to the sickly sweet behemoths that were Richard Curtis movies.
We Had This Years Love, If Only, House, Virtual Sexuality, and this. And while some of them were funny and quite the alternative (think Lock Tock for the ladies) they disappeared without a trace, because they were too familiar and felt a little bit too depressing at times.
This film, whilst it has a few genius moments, features too many people with miserable faces to be anything like a cheerful movie. We have Adrian Lester as a sort of guardian, watching their lives as they sit in the back of his cab, being drunk and depressed.
And apart from McCormack, none of the characters are very likable. They are either thieves, drunkards, loose women, or stuck up.
So at the end, you really couldn't care less, because they don't really deserve to be happy.
But there are funny moments, and despite the unlikable characters, the performances are brilliant.
Just do it less gloomy next time....
Not that great movie as I thought, simple script and easy making end... although the personalities were verry nice! Not just 3 hot babes and 3 great looking men.. but just 3 totally different persons. That gives the movie flair. Nice but not more movie.
Without ever having heard of Born Romantic, I bought I movie ticket today
see the movie. As it turned out, this was a very nice surprise, a romantic
movie about six single people in London. The story centers around a salsa
club where they go to dance every weekend. The six actors/actresses are all
new to me, but I think that Catherine McCormack's performance as the mousy
Jocelyn is the most impressive.
As you should expect of a romantic movie, this one shows that true love will prevail.
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