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Fast Romance is a lovely wee film from Scotland really enjoyed for once
seeing a Scottish film that is void of jakies, junkies, murders and
The film is all centred on a speed dating night where all the characters encountered someone who changed their life in 3 minutes, and the various and humorous consequences that spin off from them. It has the universal theme of love but it is a Scottish film, making it more identifiable and relatable to me as I can imagine people I know who would act the same as the characters and display the same humour that they do.
Its funny and light hearted, one of the things I found most remarkable about this film was it was made on a total micro budget- I have walked out of films with 100X their budget, and very few films have made me laugh as much as Fast Romance.
Looking forward to more home grown Scottish films :)
My husband and I attended last nights screening of Fast Romance (World
premiere!!!) at the Edinburgh International Film Festival not quite
sure what we were going to see. We go to the festival every year but
were really pleased at last to see a film that had no airs and graces,
but that was plain and simply a piece of entertainment and a right good
We saw the director outside being interviewed and heard how it was made and how positive he was about his cast and crew and how excited he was about making a film like this.
How right he was. We've watched the dreaded "low budget" Scottish movies before at the EIFF and watched some right miserable rubbish but Fast Romance is the exact opposite. Where did this film come from? It's absolutely charming, hits the right tone and although on occasion caught in the headlights of financial restraints is a refreshing and long overdue change for Scottish film.
The film shows the lives of about 7 "twenty and thirty somethings" who are simply looking for love. The situations are instantly recognisable to anyone watching but full of surprising and welcome twists. Glasgow is a great backdrop and the music is totally fantastic it has to be said! Soundtrack release perhaps?? Methinks it has to! Great performances from actors like Derek Munn (who was in River City) William Ruann (sweet sixteen)and new actress Jo Freer drive the film along well but WOW you should see the supporting actors!!!. Its a who's who of Scottish film and a pleasure to see them all together in one place. Dave Anderson Alison Peebles Greg Hemphill Robert Buchanan (That sinking feeling!) with the brilliant Barbara Rafferty and a load more.
Someone out there has seen sense as this film is going into cinemas across Scotland from July and thats a good thing for all. Get out and watch this film! If you are a fan of Gregory's Girl Restless natives (vincent friell is in it too lol) or even of River City or maybe if you just want a laugh then go and see Fast Romance. Feel good movie of the year! Its amazing that something shot for so little looks and feels this good. What on earth can this director do with a real budget? Please make more!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All of the crew, including the director, work on DV filmed TV shows and
so may have borrowed the equipment to make this film from down time on
As hard as I tried to like the film, the script and direction betrays an utter lack of knowledge of comedy on screen. Tom Urie should have been the star, something the trailers would have led you to believe he was incidentally, a kind of Scottish John Candy and he and the other actors should have been given freer reign to improvise then it could have been so much better.
All in all this seems to have been made with an eye on TV distribution and a yearning to multiply profit from the expat market.
A cynical exercise that is wholly unself aware and wouldn't know comedy of it kicked it up the jacksie.
Fast Romance is both modern and timeless, a genuinely funny, upbeat,
uplifting film that engages effortlessly without being overly
sentimental. Its stars are ordinary, everyday people - not the
airbrushed models who populate most Hollywood offerings - and every
character is entirely believable, as are the situations in which they
find themselves. Set in Glasgow, Fast Romance does the city proud, full
of shots depicting the architecture that helped earned us the City of
Culture title and making excellent use of notable local landmarks as
backdrops and settings. With some of Scotland's finest actors (Dave
Anderson, Barbara Rafferty, Juliet Cadzow, Alison Peebles) and a host
of talented newcomers, Fast Romance absolutely deserves to be seen on a
grand scale - it is one of THE warmest, endlessly watchable romantic
comedies, and it can stand proudly beside such Scottish classics as
Gregory's Girl, Orphans, and Trainspotting.
Fast Romance is acutely aware of its heritage, and the film is peppered with references to films that have gone before it - from the opening homage to The Wicker Man, to the cameo of Rab Buchanan (from Gregory's Girl), and the sly nods to Restless Natives and Trainspotting - the film also benefited from an Art Director with a terrific eye for background detail, meaning that it will stand up to repeated viewings to catch all the things you missed first time round.
This is a film of which its makers can be justly proud, but more than that, it is a film that all Scotland can be proud of - it shows a side of our country not often depicted on screen, and illustrates a beautifully-written/acted/directed/shot/edited script of a calibre rarely seen. The fact that this was achieved on such a budget is a remarkable achievement, one which should inspire countless new filmmakers to find their own ways and forge their own paths, now the proof exists that it can be done, and done well. Without shadow of a doubt, I would recommend this film to everyone I know, bar none. People deserve to see this film. My only regret is that, having seen it once, I have a long time to wait until I have the chance to see it again - if I could have, I'd have watched it again the very next day. It's that good.
Saw this at a press screening today at EIFF. While I wanted to like it,
and expected great (or at least 'good') things, I was disappointed.
The press kit informs that the film cost only £41,000 to make, and boy does it show. Camera work is amateur, the feeble 'jazz-lite' soundtrack jars in and out of the consciousness (the same guy who wrote the s/t to 'Gregory's Girl' was on board, and appears to have re-recorded his work for consumption here) while a couple of the other incidental tracks were bad, bad, bad.
Plot so thin it verges on the anorexic and that takes us to... the performances. Some good. Some very good, in fact. Some not so good and some others, naming no names, bloody awful.
The constant nods to Scottish films of far more illustrious stock (the aforementioned Gregory's Girl, Trainspotting, Local Hero, Restless Natives, etc.) are extraneous and annoying; it's as if this film wants a little bit of the stardust to rub off here. Not going to happen.
Like I say, I wanted to like this. Despite being English I have spent the majority of my life north of the Border and know what Scottish cinema is capable of. It's capable of much better than this.
I see a few folk have given this film poor reviews which is a bit
unfair. Pound for pound there are very few films out there as engaging
as this one. The characters are real, the storyline is clever, and the
finished article is as deserving of two hours of your time as many
higher profile films with far far bigger budgets.
This is actually a little gem, and once the introductory quirky camera work is out of the way the film settles down into a thoroughly enjoyable movie that will join many other films in the back catalogue of landmark films in the Scottish low budget genre, somewhere between Gregory's Girl and Restless Natives.
I was going to start this with 'Carter Ferguson's film', but judging by
the number of people to thank on the end credits it's a little bit of
I saw it on Friday, the second of two sold out screenings at Edinburgh International FF, and the momentum gathered so much that a third screening was arranged for prime time Saturday evening.
I've waited for ages to see this film, and had heard only good things about it, so while I thought that the guys at Cineworld (where it opens for a 2 week run in July) couldn't be THAT wrong, I still wanted to judge for myself.
I shouldn't have worried, it does exactly what it set out to do, it's romantic, it's a comedy, it's also got a bit of Drama and a bit of Pathos with good strong characters to carry it along.
My nit-picking? Could only be insignificant things and the film already does a fabulous job for the ridiculously small 50k budget. I would only be nit-picking and James McCreadie & Debbie May would almost certainly say I'm talking rubbish! For a first feature, and a multi-stranded- character romance at that, Jim & Debs have done a fantastic job.
The important thing? Audiences enjoy it, plenty of laughs and smiles in the bar afterwards and, I'm sure, continued success when it hits the really big screens in July.
Quite frankly, I loved it. It was a breath of fresh air to get away from the gritty moroseness of recent Glasgow-depicted cinema. The South-side locations were a welcome change from dreich north & east-end poverty shots & repetitive west-end imagery. Fast Romance is a wonderful homage to Bill Forsyth & the attention to detail was brilliant. It was laugh-out-loud funny with all the characters getting a share of the excellent & witty dialog. The female cast sparkled & the character of Kenny was beautifully underplayed & poignant by Derek Munn. It was well worth the second visit as I caught more "Forsythisms". A must for those such as myself who loved his films& the Scottish comedies that came out in the 80s. If this can be pulled off in such a teeny-tiny budget - I'd love to see what they can do with a few quid more. I'll put my order in now for the DVD release.
So "Fast Romance", here we go. Starring Jo Freer, William Ruane and
Lesley Hart. Directed by Carter Ferguson and written by Debbie May and
James McCreadie. 93 minutes with the certificate TBC - I'd go with a
First things first, this is a low budget movie, shot on a microbudget (yet more of a budget than Night is Day) but that doesn't matter. This isn't a film concerned about over-the-top robot fighting destruction, or green aliens with decoder rings that can take on anything you think of (i.e. a toy car ramp or a machine gun), this is a film about love in Glasgow and how a group of friends try to find romance.
Big budget is not required to tell this story. So, that's out of the way.
Gordon (or "Gordo" to his friends), played by William Ruane, is a gamer who likes to play online with his friends and his brothers (nice little scene here to introduce his game-loving obsession btw) and works at the post office. Despite being constantly late, his boss, Kenny Cairns (a touching performance from Derek Munn) looks out for him and protects him from the main boss, Mr Braithwaite (played by Dave Anderson of "City Lights" fame).
Gordo is in love with Nadine (an energetic Jo Freer) who works at her family's Italian restaurant in the city and is looking for love, both for herself and to silence her overbearing mother who reminds Nadine on a daily basis that her sisters have found love no problem and that people are starting to talk about her.
Meanwhile Lorna (a flawless Lesley Hart) is having doubts about her upcoming marriage to her fiancé, Terrence, and "copy girl" Fiona (Lynne McKelvey) is struggling to get the words out in our place of work thanks to man-eater Susan (Sarah McCardie) who is definitely the office bitch, and she plays it brilliantly.
While delivering the post, and avoiding spooky neighbour Mrs. Livingston (a nice cameo from Barbara Rafferty), Gordo finds a pen from Nadine with the words "Fast Romance" on it and discovers it's a speed dating club. Figuring Nadine will be there, Gordo sets out to go and find the courage to ask out Nadine once and for all.
Nadine convinces her friends Lorna and Fiona to keep her company on the speed-dating disaster.
I won't go into any more of the story from there as it'll spoil it, but everything changes from the speed-dating night. There are some great cameos in there and characters you won't forget. Our heroes lives are thrown upside down and events twist and turn before reaching a satisfying conclusion.
Additional props go to Simon Weir who plays Nadine's disastrous date at the start of the film, and James McCredie as Carlo, Nadine's confidante.
"Fast Romance" moves along nicely for it's 93 minute duration. It's got nice music from bands such as A Band Called Quinn and an original score by Nigel Dunn and Stephen Wright, which suits the movie's tone perfectly.
It's fun to spot places you actually know from living or have visited Glasgow but it doesn't detract from the film itself.
Yes there are a few problems with the movie, some of the sound is out of sync here and there, it's a bit too dark in places and some might say the story is wrapped up too quickly, but it's still a really good, enjoyable movie.
It's funny, it's heartwarming, sometimes genuinely sad and most importantly it's Scottish. Thankfully there are no neds in the film, for which I'd like to thank the filmmakers for, as Scotland isn't all about neds, zombies and ancient Scottish warriors fighting for freedom.
Hopefully this film will pave the way for a new generation of comedies, romances and maybe an action film too.
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