Rather pointless and unfunny English comedy that shamelessly imitates Curb in several ways but sadly forgets to imitate its success
Matt's publishing firm decides to downsize and let him go. This sees Matt able to spend more time at home working on his novel. At the same time, Matt's wife Elisabeth McGovern is also struggling to find work as an actress despite being previously Oscar nominated. While she tries to get work through her agent, Matt stresses over writer's block and the work of a new sci-fi writer.
Bloody Curb Your Enthusiasm has a lot to answer for. When it first arrived in the UK and the BBC had it for a while before losing the later seasons to another channel, but with Lead Balloon and now Freezing, BBC4 are doing their best to cover up for its loss. Of course this is not a bad thing in all cases (I quite enjoyed Lead Balloon for example) but here I did much of value other than throw some famous faces into the mix but forget laughs and substance. The plot is very simple and is supposed to be a few days in the life of Matt and Elisabeth, who live in the "real" world. Matt struggles with mistakes and his feelings in this world, causing all sorts of "hilarious" occurrences; so far, so derivative. And sadly it doesn't move beyond this approach to actually produce anything that is clever or funny. Indeed it crawls forward with very obvious material with everyone involved just seeming to think that by being awkward, making mistakes and having famous people playing themselves that somehow it will all just work.
Well, unfortunately it doesn't and I got very bored with it very quickly. It is telling that the trailers for it used the Richard E. Grant cameo to sell the film a fine example as it obvious and unfunny. The cast are all very starry though and it did make me wonder how so many of them read the script and figured it was worth their time. Bonneville was much better in Five Days recently and here he just resorts to an English version of Larry David stuttering where the latter rants. McGovern does little with the little material she has to work with. Richardson, Grant, Yentob and others line up for cameos and don't really add much more than their faces (although embarrassingly the script has Matt identify Yentob just so the audience do know he is famous).
Overall then a rather pointless and unfunny English comedy that shamelessly imitates Curb in several ways but sadly forgets to imitate its success. It has almost no laughs in it and the material lacks any wit or intelligence and just plods its way through an obvious narrative. God knows why it got the stars it did or the push from BBC4.
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