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Tom is forty. He walks out one day, rather abruptly, on his wife and baby boy and his seemingly happy life. He finds himself living on the streets of London. One night alone in a park he is mistaken for a gay man and is set upon by a gang of violent thugs. In A&E the next day Tom meets Aidan, the happiest, fast-talking individual you are ever likely to meet, the complete opposite of Tom. Too polite, or too weak to ask him to leave him alone Tom tries to get away from this child-like man but with little joy, Aidan sticks to Tom like glue. Tom reluctantly becomes involved in Aidan's life and he quickly realizes that Aidan has problems too. Aidan's 'girlfriend' Linda verbally and physically abuses him on a regular basis. Will Tom overcome his own problems in order to help his new 'friend'? Will Tom ever make it back home - and why exactly did Tom leave home in the first place? Written by
No one does slice-of-life drama and acerbic humor like the Brits, and the curiously named "Treacle Jr." showcases this, as well as some damned good acting from the cast, particularly Aidan Gillen ("Queer As Folk," "Game Of Thrones,") as Aidan (it seems kind of cheap when the screenwriters can't come up with their own names, anyone agree?"
Treacle Jr., as it so happens, is a kitten, Aidan is a childlike man in an unhealthy relationship, and Tom (Tom Fisher) steps quite by accident into the situation, in the process of getting out of another.
Unable to bear for another minute the responsibilities of parenthood and Family life, Tom (Fisher) walks out on his wife and baby and, after running out of cash, seeks new means of livelihood on the streets of London.
Inexplicably, he is attacked and injured by a gang of thugs, and while at the police station, he meets Aidan, who is comparing the woman at the front desk's hair to an Irish Setter's in an attempt at flirtation.
Aidan's the kind of guy most people stay away from. He's earnest, hyper, and completely free of any social graces. Aidan's naive and enthusiastic to a fault, but Tom soon discovers he has problems too- namely Linda (Riann Steele,) his 'girlfriend,' a volatile bag of nuts who beats on Aidan, dubs him a 'retard,' and in one painful scene, tries to rape him. She's a barrel of laughs.
People who find this situation unlikely need only think again. What does society think of men who hit women? If Aidan were to so much as take a swing at Linda in self-defense, she'd need only pull a pouty face to the police and Aidan would be sent up to the big house. Maybe it's a bit of an exaggeration, but it's something to think about.
The story chronicles the meeting and eventual friendship between the two men, despite Tom's initial urgent attempts to get away from Aidan, who has the boundless enthusiasm of a horny beagle. Now Aidan, he's an interesting character. Devoid of the marketability of endearing innocents like Forrest Gump, he is good-hearted but entirely oblivious to his effect on people. He was not written to be liked. I liked him.
If this was to be remade in America, there would be some adjustments mad. Linda's race would be changed (she is African-American,) because a cruel black person is against the politically correct agenda we are spoonfed nowadays. The gender roles would be switched, and the movie would become a feminist power flick. But it will not be remade because it was not highly successful, and a good thing, too. "Treacle Jr." intrigues and challenges, doing what British films do the best.
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