7.4/10
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Rubbish (2007)

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Kevin
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Julian
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Isobel
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Short | Comedy

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24 June 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Roskia ja romantiikkaa  »

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£20,000 (estimated)
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2.35 : 1
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References The Towering Inferno (1974) See more »

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Delivers the message but under performs on the comedy and entertainment value
28 November 2007 | by See all my reviews

Kevin is taking out the bins from his flat but draws the line at hulking his neighbour Julian's multiple bags down to the recycling – nope, just one black bag for him. On his way back he bumps into his new neighbour Isobel who, it transpires is not only gorgeous but also needs to know where the bins are. Kevin says he was just going and grabs his neighbours bags as his own before rejoining her and taking her downstairs. Unfortunately Isobel discovers that "someone" had dumped their black bag in the recycling bin and sets out to put them straight.

Produced as part of Live Earth, this short comedy is a nice try but smacks too much of someone making the film with the message/theme already in mind rather than starting with the comedy or plot first. This shows in the way that the area where it does do what it set out to do is the area of the message about the ease and importance of recycling but perhaps doesn't do as well in the area of entertainment and laughs. The film uses the sort of modern misunderstanding and elaborate "over thinking" comedy of things like Coupling to reasonable effect – basically the male character gets himself into a mess of lies while trying to impress a girl. As such it is so-so and doesn't amuse half as much as it thinks it should. I'm not sure if the constraint of the "message" was the issue but it just doesn't have much to it.

What it does is rely heavily on the cast and, while there is plenty of talent there, they cannot do enough. Freeman is no stranger to his awkward romance comedy and his performance is good but he can't make laughs out of nothing and he doesn't. Lance is nicely smug opposite him but his performance seems to be more about reinforcing the message than it is about getting the comedy from the situation. I have seen both men working together in Call Register and in that they both seemed focused and able to find the comedy in the material more than they did here (indeed they seem to be playing the same characters). Friel is pretty but again she seems more about the message than the comedy.

Overall then a worthy enough topic for a short film but one that Roe cannot seem to make work with the same awkward over-thinking comedy that he made work in Call Register. With the weaker material the cast are asked to do a lot and, although they are OK, they cannot do it without help and mostly they deliver the message that recycling is easier than you think and worth it more than they deliver comedy or entertainment value.


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