Sex and love. Some seek it, some need it, some spurn it and some pay for it, but we're all involved in it. Set on one afternoon on Hampstead Heath, London, the film investigates the minutiae of seven couples. What makes us tick?
A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.
Various Londeners meet people in Hampstead Heath park. Financial adviser Billy, a successful casual sex seeker, discusses the pros, contras and how of his child-wish. Cheeky Noel innocent pick-up lines lead only to cruelty from girls, once even abandoned jeans on ankles. Gerry's promising blind date picnic ends as abruptly when his business partner turns up, who just agreed a Barbados holiday with his steady girl. Eddie discovers trough a date mix-up that Iris, his ripe age, who come to the same park weekly too but a day earlier, was his prospective mate until they each met their now late partners decades ago. Pete comes settle the end of a marriage that shouldn't have happened except for his daughter. Written by
Hampstead Heath, that wonderful expanse in London is the setting for this delightful comedy. Directed with style by Ed Blum, the comedy brings some of England's most interesting actors together in a film that is as easy to take like a summer in the park with a nice breeze in the air.
We are taken to meet several people that seem to be enjoying their day, totally unconnected to one another. We meet Iris, a widow, whose reaction to Eddy, the older man that asks her if she would mind sharing her bench, is not exactly a happy one. Yet, they seem to have more in common than one could have suspected. They have met because of they have gone to the park on the wrong day.
Then, there is the young gay couple who are seen in the "Men Only" section of the park, talking about their life together and how one would stop cruising other men if they could agree in adopting a child. That proves to be wishful thinking, because when all it's said and done, the same proponent is seen trailing after a hot number to a secluded area to engage in sex, no doubt. One wonders about how realistic his expectations can be.
One of the best vignettes involves a blind date. The two people one sees seem to hit it off well, although they seem to have different opinions on what they expect from one another. There is also a funny sequence involving a couple that meets to what appear to be a happy reunion for a nice stroll, and suddenly a shock comes when she asks him for money for her fee, which has gone up in price.
All the actors in the film contribute tremendously to the enjoyment of it by acting effortlessly in this comedy that seems to be about nothing, yet it reveals a lot of inner tensions in many of the characters.
Best of all, Ewan McGregor and Douglas Hodge as the gay lovers. Eileen Atkins and Benjamin Whitrow make a perfect old couple. Gina McKee and Hugh Bonneville are effective as the couple on the blind date. Contributions by Adrian Lester, Sophie Onokedo, Polly Aird, and Polly Walker enhance the film.
Ed Blum shows a talent for creating people so different that happen to be one day in Hampstead Heath truly believable.
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