Chris Wilton is a former tennis pro, looking to find work as an instructor. He meets Tom Hewett, a well-off pretty boy. Tom's sister Chloe falls in love with Chris but Chris has his eyes on Tom's fiancée, the luscious Nola. Both Chris and Nola know it's wrong but what could be more right than love? Chris tries to juggle both women but at some point, he must choose between them... Written by
The painting of a girl with a red balloon on the wall that Chris walks along was done by Banksy, a graffiti artist from Bristol. See more »
In the scene in the Royal Opera House, the performance of La Traviata is, inexplicably, accompanied by piano rather than full orchestra. See more »
Christopher "Chris" Wilton:
The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It's scary to think so much is out of one's control. There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn't, and you lose.
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What a throughly engrossing evening Woody Allen has provided. This film has been, by and large, poorly received by the British critics. I cannot understand why. Yes, it does have the strongest echoes of Crimes and Misdemeanours, but if a director/writer can't borrow from his own product, who can? This isn't funny Allen -- there are few laughs -- but it is an extremely intense and successful serious Allen.
Does Allen's magic transfer to my home city? You bet it does; lovely locations; Notting Hill, the Tate Modern, the "Gherkin" in the City, all look great but are also entirely relevant. Many critics said he didn't have an ear for British dialogue. I simply don't hear that -- it may be a bit stagy at times, but the writing is spare, to the point, and literate. Few trans-Atlantic clunkers.
Yes, there are some silly bits; bits where you wish any half-intelligent Englishman had watched the film and said "Wood, old son, this is cobblers". British detectives don't call themselves "Detective so-and-so". They might be Detective-Sergeant or whatever. The force that polices London is the Metropolitan Police, not the "London Police". Perhaps Allen didn't realise that his main copper, Ulster actor James Nesbitt, sounds a parody of the amusing roles he plays in some widely-seen British Yellow Pages adverts. Little things, so easy to iron out, that detract just a touch from credibility.
Scarlett Johannsson -- what an actress, is she really only 20 or whatever? She packs huge power and stunning looks, if occasionally getting a trifle near Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Jonathan Rhys Myers does his forlorn sports coach bit, as from Bend It Like Beckham. The solidly Brit supporting cast is entirely believable, even if their effortlessly affluent lifestyle takes a bit of swallowing. Genuine surprises at the end. This is a thoroughly satisfying evening at the movies.
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