Tamara Drewe (2010) Poster

(2010)

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Quintessentially English
rogerdarlington17 April 2011
This is an utterly, utterly English film and all the more charming, wry and artful for that. No wonder both BBC Films and the UK Film Council helped to fund it. Director Stephen Frears ("The Queen")has taken a screenplay by Moira Buffini, adapted from a comic strip by Posy Simmonds which in turn is a kind of pastiche of Thomas Hardy's "Far From the Madding Crowd", and combined it with a wonderful British cast and the stunning Dorset countryside to create a delightful work which could hardly contrast more with the usual Hollywood output.

Set in the mythical and comatose village of Ewedown over the course of one year, the film - like Hardy's book - has three men vying for the attention of a bewitchingly beautiful young woman - Tamara who was brought up in the village, has reshaped her life in so many ways, and now returns as a successful journalist.

The casting is brilliant from gorgeous, former Bond girl ("Quantum Of Solace") Gemma Arterton as the eponymous attraction, sporting the most diminutive denim shorts imaginable, to 17 year old Jessica Barden who is terrific as the village teenager who unwittingly causes most of the mayhem, with so many fine performances in between, whether male or female, whether large or small. For fans of Thomas Hardy, there are many allusions to his character and work. For the rest of us, Buffini's script offers so many sharp lines before serving up a satisfying, if traditional, conclusion.
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8/10
Entertainement I love
ingrid-1095 August 2010
A very, very good movie, no doubt. Everything, in particular, each man, woman, chicken, car, tear, cow and dog and meadow, each pop and tune is on the right place. Excellent dialogs, sparkling soundtrack, gorgeous photography, rich colors, fresh, witty and ebullient, perfectly balanced black and ... regular humor. The story is nicely knitted, a lot of grey matter must have been consumed for the dialogs. Some lines have got what it takes to become a "quote". I loved it! Found a few British stereotypes? So what? Troubles to follow the quick replies in the original English version? Cannot follow the subtitles while trying to translate the cream of the jokes? So what? Watch it again!! I will!
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9/10
An Under-appreciated Gem
winterhaze1331 December 2010
Tamara Drewe is a real gem by The Queen director Stephen Frears. It is an updated version of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd but based on a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds. A dark comedy set in the English countryside, the story is centred on a writer's colony run by Tamsin Greig's character Beth and her crime writer husband Nicholas, played by Roger Allam.

Gemma Arteton plays the title character who lived in the same small down in Dorset known as Ewedown during her teenage years. Now grown up she returns to restore and hopefully sell the house she used to live in. With help from a surgically reconstructed nose, Tamara Drewe has blossomed into a beautiful woman and her presence shakes the sleepy town as Bethsheba did in Hardy's novel.

The film is true to the memory of Thomas Hardy maintaining the turmoil of sexual desire and even obsession across all age groups which so commonly adorned his novels. One of the characters, the sympathetic American novelist Glen played by Bill Camp is writing a novel influenced by Hardy and references the author on many occasions.

The film breaks the notion of a quiet and sleepy town, like so many British films do. Underneath these seemingly close communities lies an underlining suspicion. Everyone is in everyone else's business in Ewedown and Tamara's presence only helps fuel the tension.

The pivotal scene that embodies Tamara Drewe's character occurs when Glen tells her that life must be very easy for her because she is beautiful. She laughs it off citing that it has always been difficult for her to be taken seriously.

Behind the character of Tamara Drewe lies something more sinister. The sudden appearance of a beautiful face in the town leads to a series of events that causes the balance of everyone's life to be upset. Men are suddenly smitten by the prospect of sex while women are often jealous or angry by the disruption they cause.

The story really begins to escalate when Tamara begins to date a drummer in a rock band played by Dominic Cooper and sets up permanently in the town. Soon, everyone in the town is invested in the lives of these people in some way.

The voyeurism of the locals who regard Tamara Drewe as both someone to envy and detest is likened to the celebrity status of her rock star boyfriend. Tamara quickly becomes the target of two schoolgirls who are both obsessed with the drummer and jealous of Tamara for disturbing the order of things.

The film eases its dark themes with its excellent use of subtle humour. The updated version of one of Hardy's most celebrated novels exposes the reality of a voyeuristic society too concerned with the lives of other people.

Along with Frears excellent direction, the other great strength of this film is its actors with special distinction going to Tamsin Greig. Greig is familiar to the London stage scene while others have played minor roles in big films. Gemma Arteton was one of Bond's muses in the Quantum of Solace. Roger Allam has been equally excellent in Frears academy award winning film the Queen as well as in V for Vendetta.

On one final note, I read one review that argued that the climax just does not amount to much which I personally felt was very misguided. The ending was true to the traditions of Hardy which is what Tamara Drewe is all about.
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9/10
A fine and thoughtful English comedy
Ankheri31 July 2010
London columnist Tamara Drewe (Gemma Aterton) reappears in a small and isolated village in the English countryside. She wants to sell her parents' house and interview a rock star. Soon enough, three males fall for the young and very attractive woman : romance novelist and cheating husband Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam), rock star Ben Sargeant (Dominic Cooper) and past boyfriend Andy Cobb (Luke Evans). While her house is being renovated by Andy, Tamara writes her own novel and enjoys Ben's company. Little does she know that teenager Jody Long (Jessica Barden) is scheming to come closer to the rock star. In the course of a year, each character will find out that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

Don't expect an in-depth / social demonstration on city dwellers vs. villagers. This is a brilliant and funny comedy where each character's selfish motives and agenda are gradually exposed. "Writers are just thieves and liars" quotes Nicholas blissfully, more careful to please his paying guests than to pay attention to his devoted wife Beth (Tamsin Greig).

The actors are doing a fine job and there is a good chemistry between them. There are no dull moments since there are three main story lines : Tamara and Ben, her neighbors Nicholas and Beth, the mischievous teenagers. These two girls however tend to steal the show as they are so gross, unashamed and reckless !
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9/10
brilliant
robbierunciman-112 September 2010
I remember the cartoon strip from the Guardian and the compelling story that made the Saturday paper a must buy each week that it ran. I had two worries going into the film: what happens if they change it and make it awful; and, I had imagined Tamara a little older than Gemma Arterton - maybe she was not right for the part. Film makers often disappoint (the "Time Travellers wife" is a case in point where an excellent story was ruined by someone not understanding the multiple viewpoints in the book).

Not sure if this was aimed at fat middle aged blokes - but it worked for me, my worries were groundless: the comedy and drama survived from the story (maybe Posy Simmonds should create more novels that can be filmed). The casting was excellent and Roger Allam gave a fantastic performance, Tamsin Greg was brilliant as usual and Gemma Arterton was a revelation in the lead role. The Drumming sequence with 'Ben' in the cottage was particularly brilliant. It was good with its 'loser' characters (and I thought, maybe they should have weekends to help civil servants write inspiring briefing for uninspiring Ministers)

I am amazed at the negative reviews on the site, I do not think that that the film tried to be more than it was and yes it was set in an idyllic English village - that was the point. Maybe these reviewers should be more careful at the multiplex and are more at home with rubbish like the "Expendibles". Not clear about the link to 'Cold Confort Farm' made by another reviewer this is clearly a different style of story about modern people in the modern countryside.

There was superb characterisation by a first rate cast in a subversive story that played with the stock characters that stories in English villages always have and made some real points about what is happening in these communities and about peoples lives and how selfish actions and jokey 'messing' can have big consequences in other people's lives.

Go and see this movie.
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8/10
A comedy of affairs
napierslogs25 November 2010
Ewedown is an idyllic, little English countryside village where writers retreat to seek inspiration, and peace and quiet. Or at least it was idyllic until Tamara Drewe returned home.

The stunningly beautiful Gemma Arterton plays Tamara Drewe. Her presence immediately sparks the interest of the local men, and the bored, local teenage girls who are looking for excitement to spice up their mundane town life. She is so sexy that she has her choice of affairs, but as usual, it's always the asshole who gets the girl. Just as it looks like Tamara is going to settle down with the rock and roll drummer Ben (Dominic Cooper) to interrupt the reserved lifestyle of the village, life gets complicated for everybody who wants something with Tamara.

"Tamara Drewe" is a comedy of affairs, complete with foul language, quirky characters and the irreverent British humour. Arterton sparkles as Tamara, but it's less about the characters and more about who will bed who and what will the consequences be? It sometimes seems to forget the age of its audience when it goes for the comedy of teenage girls getting into mischief, but it's also exactly what you would expect for an odd comedy about a group of writers and one hot girl.
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7/10
Decent Brit-com
freemantle_uk16 September 2010
British comedy is a strange creature. There are films that are satirical, such as In the Loop, satirical, like Four Lions, to intelligence and dialogue driven, Withnail and I, and films that aim for low key charm, Calendar Girls. Sometimes a film may try and made a number of these features, like the work of Edgar Wright. Based on a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, Tamara Drewe hits our screens, with Gemma Arterton's profile continuing to increase.

The village of Ewedown has become a writers retreat, a place for writers to relax, work and chew the fat. Crime novelist Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam) and wife Beth (Tasmin Greig) run the place, with an American academic, Glen (Bill Camp (who sounds a lot like William Hurt)) struggling with his book on Thomas Hardy staying with them. In the village two schoolgirls, Jody (Jessica Barden) and Casey (Charlotte Christie) cause havoc and mayhem simply because they are bored. But the village is turned on its head when the attractive journalist Tamara Drewe (Arterton) returns home to sell her out house. She turns heads, including drummer Ben Sergeant (Dominic Cooper), her old frame Andy (Luke Evans) and Nicholas.

Writer Moira Buffini and director Stephen Frears make a film with drama and wit, and some moments of out right laughs. Frears was able to inject some style, like when characters speaking when there are on the phone. The humour of the film relies on number of areas, witty comments and observation, physical violence and visual gags. The schoolgirls offer a lot of comedy because many people can empathies with their situation: rural England is not the most exciting place to grow up as a teenager. Their mischief making and thrills about a star in their village compensates Barden lack of confidence as an actress. It is refreshing to characters that do look their age. Frears and Buffini aim to a make a charming comedy, but with more swearing; so trying to have their cake and eat. The two should have tried to make gone one way or the other. Strangely for a film called Tamara Drewe, there are long periods where she is not on the screen or mentioned. There are plots involving Nicholas wayward eyes and the budding relationship between Glen and Beth: walking the fine line of drama and comedy. Tamara Drewe goes from being pretty serious and hits you with a sudden joke and vice versa: working with effect. Tamara Drewe is very British beast, but Glen the American does offer an outsider view and will allow a non-British audience a point-of-view, with few British swears and slang words being used. There are some issues affecting rural England, like rich city flock buying houses and making villages too expensive to live in and boredom for young people: but it is hardly a political piece.

Whilst some of pacing is a little slow and the film ends up sidetracking at moments, there are strong performances from most of the cast. Atherton shows why she is a raising star, giving Tamara a quick, biting wit. Allam effectively plays a very slimy writer who takes advantage of his wife and he seems to have a nack for playing dislikeable characters (his previous roles have been in V for Vendetta and Speed Racer). Cooper and Evans work well against each other as love rivals for Tamara, with Cooper really understands the part of a pretentious indie musician. Greig too gives a good performance and given her background as a comic actress, she her character is for the most part serious, with moments of witty comments.

Tamara Drewe is more a gently comedy with small jokes and drama and not a out right laugh fest as the promotion will want you to believe.
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8/10
Love and Scorn in the English Countryside
gradyharp31 December 2011
TAMARA DREWE already had a following from her appearance in the best selling graphic novel by the same name by Posy Simmonds, an so it was probably not too difficult for the talented Stephen Frears to direct a pitch perfect cast to bring the delightful story to the screen. Filled to the brim with excellent actors this strange little story has many levels of meaning, but the main story is very well served.

Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) was historically a face to forget in the town of Ewedon, but she leaves for the city and plastic surgery and returns with a new nose and facelift that makes her as attractive as any lass in the town. She plays on the talents of married highly successful crime novelist Nicholas (Roger Allam) to polish her writing skills - the cost is an affair that leaves Nicholas ready to divorce his perfect wife (Tamsin Grieg). She also attracts the interest of her childhood solid friend Andy (Luke Evans) and the rather superficial and silly rock star Ben (Dominic Cooper) and eventually, with the running of interference by two loathsome little girls (Charlotte Christie and Jessica Barden), and it all turns out with many surprises! It is a dissection of relationships a la Thomas Hardy and Frears know how to make it all work very well.

It is always a pleasure to be in the company of fine British actors in a lovely English countryside setting and this is no exception. Everyone in the cast is excellent - and it continues to be a pleasure to watch the very talented Dominic Cooper grow in the challenging roles he assumes. There are many reasons to enjoy this film, and among them is the sheer craftsmanship of the British cinema.

Grady Harp
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2/10
A Charmless Parody of Modern Britain
mw-842-28967011 September 2010
For me, the BBC Films logo is always a bit of a warning sign. Whilst their films are invariably challenging and technically well-made, they are often either unrelenting grim, or in strangely poor taste.

Tamara Drewe ticks both of those boxes (the second much more than the first). Overall, the film is little more than a group of shallow clichéd stereotypes, mooching around a rural village and sleeping with each other. It lacks any real depth or insight and cannot be deemed to be truly "worthy commentary". At the same time it is too dark and too sleazy to be palatably humorous either, and yet still does not work as black humour.

There are so many ways that the film could have been improved - from making some characters believable (the two teenage girls and many of the authors are not) to centring the film around one character or one relationship, and making that the focus. Instead the film wanders aimlessly around, seemingly looking for titillation, and finding it remarkably often.

To snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in so many ways, Tamara Drewe has really achieved something quite remarkable.

And a note to non-UK viewers - this is a shallow (and bitter) parody of the UK, quite unlike the bulk of UK-produced films, in fact.
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5/10
Heavy-Handed Romance and Comedy by Stephen Frears
claudio_carvalho9 August 2011
The Independent journalist Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) returns to Dorset, Ewedown, to sell the Winnard Farm that belonged to her deceased mother. Her neighbor Beth Hardiment (Tamsin Greig) runs a writers retreat with her unfaithful and womanizer husband Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam) that is a successful writer of the adventures of his alter-ego Inchcombe and cheats Beth every now and then with younger women. Tamara was the sweetheart of the handyman Andy Cobb (Luke Evans), whose family owned the Winnard Farm but lost it to Tamara's family, and she sees him, she rekindles her love for him.

However, when Tamara travels to interview the unpleasant drummer of the Swipe band Ben Sergeant (Dominic Cooper), he has just found that his girlfriend Fran is having an affair with the other musician Steven Culley and he breaks up with the band. Tamara and Ben have a love affair and Ben moves to Winnard. Meanwhile, Ben's teenager fan Jody Long (Jessica Barden) and her best friend Casey Shaw (Charlotte Christie) that are bored in Ewedown feel happy with the presence of Ben in the village. When Ben proposes Tamara, they travel to London to spend a couple of days in the big city. Meanwhile the jealous Casey breaks in Tamara's house and uses her computer to send an e-mail pretending to be Tamara that will change the lives of the dwellers and end in a tragedy.

"Tamara Drewe" is a disappointing heavy-handed romance and comedy by Stephen Frears. The story is too dramatic for a black-humor comedy and too silly for a drama. Most of the characters are obnoxious, specially the annoying Casey and Ben. Gemma Arterton is very beautiful and when she appears wearing small short is something very sexy. Roger Allam is absolutely out of her league and it is difficult to accept and understand her love affair with such unpleasant man. In the end, I did not like this film. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "O Retorno de Tamara" ("The Return of Tamara")
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8/10
charming... and good
goldchurch21 September 2010
Unlike the knockers further down, I really rated this film. Some have accused it of being episodic but then all the episodes link up and ... hey thats a plot, isn't it? All the actors are great with the possible exception of Gemma/Tamara herself and she's more of an eye candy/device to bring out the true nature of all the other protagonists anyway. Don' t get me wrong, this isn't a Lawrence of Arabia of the Home Counties and would have arguably been better as a ITV1 mini series with Trevor Eve as the feckless middle aged crimewriter, but it is tight, funny and, I hate to you use the word, NICE. The teenage troublemaking girls I single out for particular praise. My daughter has friends like that. Hopefully, isn't actually like that herself, but then even if she was there would be worse things. Misfits, Skins, a love interest on the Inbetweeners...
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8/10
terrific British dark comedy
disdressed1230 April 2011
once again,the British have made a great little independent film.i suppose you could classify it as a dark comedy.it's peopled with motley crew of characters,and brimming with over with deceit duplicity,betrayal,pain and irony.Gemma Arterton portrays the title character,who is at the center of the story.having just seen her in The Disappearance of Alice Creed,(which i also recommend)a totally different kind of film,it's obvious she has talent.the supporting cast is great as well.Stephen Frears(The Queen)directed the film.the film is rated R due to some language and sensuality,but i would have rated it 14A,but parents should use their discretion nonetheless.anyway,for me,'Tamara Drewe' is an 8/10
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2/10
A Waste of Time and a good Cast, shame...
roy-henderson712 September 2010
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave this 4 stars (Friday 10th September 2010), Cosmo Landesman gave it 2 out of 5 in the Sunday Times.

I am with with Cosmo and fear some relationship between The Guardian and the film makers. This film was poorly scripted, had facile characters, a random plot and worst of all, wasn't very funny, failing to tickle the funny bone of my 16 year old and his two middle-aged parents.

I was expecting something akin to the TV version of 'Cold Comfort Farm', (also Frears?) This was not it....

Was it ironic? A comedy of manners? A satire on city types in the country? A wry commentary on how a Hardy-esquire take on the Archers might play out?

Who knows, a wasted opportunity.
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1/10
Disappointing
rowlandy8 September 2010
This was showing at the NFT in London. After the movie, the cast and director came on stage for a Q&A. I had no idea what this movie was going to be about other than it was based on a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds (whose work I had not seen or read).

The beautiful scenery didn't sit well with the unfolding story. There was no character that you could like or identify with. You either felt sorry or disgusted by them and that included the main character, Tamara Drewe. I didn't understand why the characters behaved as they did.

"Delightful" or a "feel good movie" this is not. The main theme of this movie is that it's not only writers that are "thieves and liars", but this is the general state of people today.
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10/10
Best Film Iv seen in Ages!
melina-a20 September 2010
Thought this film was brilliant. Loved the Plot and the fact that it was an English film with a practically entire English cast, very funny and a lovely little Rom Com. Definitely a MUST see! Gemma Arteton was amazing as an actress again, as were the rest of the cast. I thought the 'typical' English country village setting was lovely and appropriate and not 'dribble' at all as some would say on the reviews. All in all it would seem that those who say it is a rubbish film are in their middle ages and clearly do not understand the essence of a good film, unlike the younger generation such as myself. Honestly a brilliant film by the BBC, hopefully there will be more of this kind to follow!
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5/10
Hmmmm
markgorman11 September 2010
The Good Life meets The Vicar of Dibley. Minus the laughs.

Steven Frears' career is, for me, a bit up and down. He's had his greats; The Queen and The Grifters for sure, but a lot of his best work has been for TV and this is a BBC funded movie that feels more like a TV show. I have to say it is beautifully realised. The setting in England's green and pleasant Home Counties (or is it the West Country?) looks delightful and the lighting is excellent. But it doesn't do very much at all. It seems such a slight premise for a movie and really is about manners; English middle class manners.

Set amidst a writer's retreat the concept should tee up some goofy, oddball characters with the opportunity for considerable set piece fun, but for some reason Frears chooses not to go down that path, consequently the laughs are few and yet this is billed a comedy. As a morality tale (which it really aspires to being) it doesn't really preach any morals. Hardly anyone gets hurt (apart from the long suffering wife of lotharian crime writer Nicholas Hardiment - played rather well by Roger Allam) but even she gets a get out of jail free card and our eponymous 'heroine' seems to be celebrated for shagging pretty much every guy that crosses her path.

Gemma Arterton looks alright, but she's not exactly Marlyn Monroe and she acts OK (but little more than that). Apart from Roger Allam only Tamsin Greig as his aforementioned rug of a wife can claim any acting credits at all. The Greek Chorus of 15 year old troublemakers who stitch the movie together are not credible in the least and Drew's first catch, the uber-stereotypical rock and roll bad lad, played by Dominic Cooper has just steeped out of am dram to overact like a bastard.

This is a poor film folks. It's all packaging and no content. And the truth is; it's kinda dull. Save your money.

5/10
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1/10
Tedious overblown rubbish!
winles14 September 2010
I have just sat through this awful film. It consists of a very tedious and unbelievable plot,inhabited by shallow and facile characters.It is really nothing more than a sequence of disconnected and fantastic coincidences stretched together and called a script. It is also a criminal waste of many good actors,who must have cringed at being in a movie with such dire lines and trite situations. I am ashamed that it was seen fit to film it by a British company. Movies such as this had (I hoped) disappeared with the swinging 60's. I could go on and on about it,(but I won't) just don't waste your money on such a "puff of air" type film. Let it die it's own natural death.
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5/10
The ugly duckling who got a nose job and all her dreams came true!
Hellmant13 February 2011
'TAMARA DREWE': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Stephen Frears (director of such well respected films as 'THE QUEEN', 'DANGEROUS LIAISONS', 'THE GRIFTERS' and one of my all time favorite films 'HIGH FIDELITY') directs this British fluff comedy film. It's written by Moira Buffini and based on a graphic novel (of the same name, which was a newspaper comic strip re-published as a graphic novel) by Posy Simmonds. The comic strip was inspired by author Thomas Hardy's nineteenth century novel 'Far from the Madding Crowd' (the film further makes this significant by having a character write a book about Hardy). The stunningly beautiful Gemma Arterton stars in the title role (you may remember Arterton from such blockbuster films as 'QUANTUM OF SOLACE', 'CLASH OF THE TITANS' and 'PRINCE OF PERSIA').

The film revolves around the once 'unusual looking' Tamara who received a nose job and now returns to the village where she grew up, Ewedown (a fictitious place said to be located in Dorset, England), to sell her deceased mother's house. She's now of course the subject of every man's desire including an ex fling named Andy (Luke Evans), a famous writer she used to have a crush on named Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam) and a famous touring musician named Ben Sergeant (Dominic Cooper). She initially is drawn to Ben but when one of Ben's young teen fans Jody (Jessica Barden) meddles in their affairs Nicholas sees an opportunity to sweep in and win the girl over. This is especially troublesome because Nicholas is married to a loyal and loving wife named Beth (Tamsin Greig) who he runs a writer's school with.

The film is full of clichés and predictable slapstick mishaps but it does have a certain charm and is well crafted to a certain extent. Arterton shines in the film and of course looks beautiful but her character is a little too unlikeable to be the lead heroine in this type of film (for my taste). I do like the flawed hero but the film almost seems like it overlooks her misdoings and wants us to forgive her for her selfishness without her learning from her mistakes possibly just because she was once despised because of her looks, or something of that nature. Another problem I had with the film is the dominant glaring message that if you're seen as unattractive and life has got you down all's you have to do is fix your appearance, to that of what people prefer, and everything will work out for you. While one could argue that this is true it's not a message that should be so simplistically shoved in the viewers' faces. I also expected a lot more from Frears, the film pales in comparison to the quality of his greatest works. The film is amusing but just that.

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4/10
A Water Dream...
Clockwork-Avacado7 March 2014
In this day and age of blistering, multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbusters, full of unrealistic emotions, and over the top special effects, and loathsome characters, the small British comedy is definitely on the decline. So, presumably, "Tamara Drewe", a sleepy black little comedy of love and betrayal, should fill a very nice little gap indeed. Sadly, however, someone slipped up along the way, and, whilst it has not too much wrong with it, it's ultimately something of a wasted opportunity, which misses the mark on many occasions.

The action all centers upon a small rural community of tired people, in particular, a writer's retreat where an unlikely gang of rather jaded characters assemble. In comes ex-ugly duckling Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton), and things start to hot up soon enough for all concerned.

Stephen Frears, a director of some considerable pedigree, described the film as being like a "tragedy, and a comedy". That is true to an extent, because there's nothing incredibly funny, and yet, nothing extremely tragic happening. The comedy is tragic, and the tragedy is comedic. The whole mix has rather been upset by its' having an essentially unlikeable cast of characters, despite there being some decent actors and actresses assembled. It's one of those slightly po-faced dramas which wallows in its' own mundanity, wondering just how dull and "realistic" the whole thing can be. The flip side of this is, for genre fans, it stops the whole thing feeling "cliched". The reality, though, is a rather bathetic, self-indulgent study of some rather weak people.

Gemma Arterton is an exceptional actress, perhaps the best "big name" British actress in the world right now, but I'm not sure why she has been cast here. Bereft of her usual quiet charm and wittiness, Tamara Drewe is a very unlikeable personality, who makes a habit of mucking things up for everyone around her. The sad thing is, she behaves like such an idiot, that she doesn't deserve to have a film devoted to her, and she isn't anywhere near decent enough to deserve any measure of happiness, which she gets in an ending, which seems to be the film's only concession to the mainstream.

Dominic Cooper, as Ben Sargeant, a typical bad rocker, is enough to ruin the entire film, with a portrayal of the cliché that is so broad and unlikeable, that it's one of those choices which makes you realise just what a total idiot she is. In fact, there seems to be nothing whatsoever appealing about Ben as a character. To be honest, though, if it was anyone else but Gemma Arterton in the role of TD, you could say the same thing about her.

The only vaguely likable characters, Bill Camp and British standby Tamsin Grieg, are awash in a sea of scumbags, and are routinely abused until the absurdly realised ending, which, if you stop to think about it, is a cop-out of the first order. Without this convenient herd of deus ex machina, the whole film would have been a very tawdry affair indeed.

In the end, though, it's not a horrendous film, just one in which you struggle to find anything to like in it. Four out of ten, for some lovely rural Northern English countryside, for Gemma Arterton's ass, and for Tamsin Grieg and Bill Camp. Nothing you couldn't enjoy individually in much better surroundings. Read the graphic novel, as well. It's at least one and a half times as good as this.

(And by the way, the title of this review is an anagram of the titular heroine. The whole way through the movie, I was convinced that "Tamara Drewe" was an anagram of something significant. THis was the best I could get, but at least I was able to use those 106 minutes of my life fruitfully...)
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8/10
British small-town life goes digital
rroberto181 October 2010
"Tamara Drewe" could be this year's "Sideways" sleeper with a British accent and wider demographic appeal. Key to the story arc is a pair of digitally-savvy teens with a crush on an oddly-charismatic indie band drummer. His eye is on a "suddenly attractive" blogger-journalist, wooed as well by a hunk-of-all-trades and a serially-unfaithful middle-aged novelist whose forgiving wife quietly orchestrates his success. The action is set on the couple's small organic animal farm which doubles as a writer's retreat for true characters at a loss to create any on a page. The plot easily accommodates a love pentangle, social networking, domestic strife, celebrity culture and teen rebellion while staying true to its droll heart. Far from Hollywood's romantic/bromantic comedies, the humor here comes from dry wit and subtle class friction, instead of gross punch lines and pratfalls. What bathroom humor there is here actually requires a water-closet. The relatively unknown, multi-generational and perfect-pitch cast creates an unlikely ensemble without a hint of over-acting or scene-stealing. If the film strove for significance or belly laughs, it would widely miss the mark on both scores. Beautifully shot, invisibly directed and edited, the only thing lacking might be a snappier title for non-British audiences. But true to its source material -- the Posy Simmonds-penned, Guardian-run comic strip turned graphic novel of the same name -- "Tamara Drewe' totally fills the big screen without trying to be anything but its quirky self.
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1/10
Dreary, a little like the English Summer.
SummerSounds13 September 2010
Tragic, a return to form for Frears this is not. I wouldn't waste your time or money.

A shame really as it seems well shot with high production values etc but quite frankly some of the casting isn't great and the script is heinous. And why people continue to cast family members regardless of talent is beyond me?! Hardly any of the characters are actually likable and it seems like it doesn't seem to hit any of the marks it is trying to, lacking in intelligent humour and not really striking that black humour chord. It feels like it is trying to be too many things to too many people and ends up falling short on all fronts.

This is a real shame, interesting originating material and a great cast (for the majority). Just a shame the final outcome was a little bit like the English summer, a bit grey, long and full of clichés. Left me feeling like I wish I had bought a ticket to go and see Scott Pilgrim Vs the World (at least it doesn't try to be something it is not).
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5/10
Nah, skip it
Samiam38 February 2011
The funniest thing about Tamara Drewe is that the movie is about everyone else except her. She is essentially the catalyst for the events which make up what I'd appropriately call a comedic soap opera, or rather an 'attempted' comedic soap opera. Generally it feels too bland to be worth it. It's not that funny, and it feels cold or nasty when it could be warm and engrossing.

Another problem is that the movie doesn't know when to play it serious or not. It sort of bounces back and forth, but never really hitting any notes. All the characters are vastly underwritten, starting with the title character. The fact that Gemma Arterton plays the role with no range whatsoever only makes it worse.

Sometimes it's cute, but too often it's not. whether it's misdirection or laziness, Tamara Drewe wont be much good to anyone I think
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7/10
Nice one
fw828 January 2011
I went to see this film with my wife after it got recommended to me from a mate of mine.

Nice movie with a brilliant, humorous and sarcastic story line that was surprisingly refreshing. Convincing actors that come across truthful in a witty plot.

Have to admit that British sense of humour is kind of special and most of the time tongue-in- cheek, especially for German viewers.

Saw this one in German, but will definitely try to get the English original version someday and watch that, too.

Absolutely recommendable if you are looking for great and tasteful entertainment on a Saturday night (out with your gf or wife as well ... )
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7/10
Pleasant
BenAordure12 August 2010
The storyboard is about loves stories, I'd rather say love affairs, in a lovely English countryside village.

At the menu, we get an entertaining set of stories and characters, a bit of psychology about the difficulty to find the matching and deserving lover, about the aged people problems, we got also some English humor...

This makes a tasty meal. Yet this is definitely not the movie of the year. But I had a pleasant time watching this, even if I found myself sometimes wanting the movie to speed a little up. Good to watch if you want something entertaining but different from Hollywood action-movies.
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2/10
Vacuous
Fatboydim17 June 2011
It seems that if you film something in a picture postcard village, throw in a number of clichéd middle class characters [ Such as the devoted wife / serially adulterous husband - fresh young "Tottie"] You don't have to bother with character, plot and what's that other thing called... oh yes drama. Everyone in this movie seems to behave like kids, except of course the kids themselves who try to act like adults. Oh yes very clever. But I didn't really care for any of the characters at all. It's the kind of film that's described as "Gentle Comedy" meaning that you might smile occasionally. So we get a mixture of farce and manners, but in the end it settles for neither. Throw in a comedy nose that looks like it belongs in The League Of Gentlemen and throw away character building moments that should make us care. It's all rather messy.

I expect better from Stephen Frears.
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