Review #430 of 365
Movie Review of Starter for Ten (2007) [PG-13] 96 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $9.50
Where Viewed: Landmark Chez Artiste, Denver, CO
When 1st Seen: 20 March 2007
Time: 9:35 p.m.
Film's Official Website • Film's Trailer
DVD Release Date: unscheduled
Directed by: Tom Vaughan ("He Knew He Was Right")
Screenplay by: David Nicholls (Aftersun) based on his book
Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland) • Rebecca Hall ("The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends") • Alice Eve (The Rotters' Club) • Dominic Cooper (The History Boys) • Benedict Cumberbatch (Amazing Grace) • Catherine Tate ("The Catherine Tate Show")
Soundtrack: Download now from — or — order the CD below
Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word or less review of this film]
"…keep in on the 'See on DVD one Sunday afternoon in August list'.
I should think, by this point, you've gotten the drift of the story line. And, most assuredly, you've gathered by my tone, style, and pace of writing, that indeed my feelings for this film are not that strong. I wasn't giddy with joy over this adaptation of English collegiate life in 1985. Likewise, I am not prepared to dismiss it as a mildly amusing coming of age film, although that description would suit it just fine. There is a love triangle and a series of important life lessons to be learned with some rather embarrassing moments—not the least of which would be The Fully Monty re-enactment after midnight in the kitchen of your girlfriend's parent's winter cottage starring…her parents…while you might be under the influence of an inexpensive yet quite illegal narcotic. There's a whopper of another one too that will need to be left for those that see the film to enjoy as it is pivotal to the ending which won't be given away here. Suffice it to say that Brian faces some critical choices in his life, and he learns handsomely from his missteps.
Technically, the film has some problems. First, the plot is not as engaging nor as significant given the days and times. Maybe in 1985, the film would have been more powerful. Second, the film looks washed out and has some technical flaws (a boom microphone dropping in for example). The acting is decent, though I certainly would not have been likely to cast James McAvoy in The Last King of Scotland after seeing this film. I wouldn't have known he could handle such an intense and demanding role. So, if you want to see real, amazing, James McAvoy, see The Last King of Scotland and be prepared to see two performances of a lifetime in that of Forrest Whitaker as well. There's an amateurish quality, sadly, to the entire film that is only worsened by some of the cheesy dialogue. This is definitely the first British film I've seen in the past year that does so little with the language. Generally, English writing is loaded to the brim with puns, double meanings, and clever phrases. Don't look for that here. I apologize, I usually do not mean to seem so negative about a film. This film is not horrible. It's just not ground breaking in any way. I would keep in on my "See on DVD one Sunday afternoon in August list.
Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word review of this film]
Other Projects Featuring Starter for Ten (2007)
James McAvoy • Rebecca Hall • Alice Eve
Dominic Cooper • Benedict Cumberbatch • Catherine Tate
Starter for Ten (2007) Review-lite [150-word cap]