In the past week and a half I’ve watched an awful lot of films. Usually I’m more of a TV series person, though we do have a film night most weeks, but sometimes only a film will hit the spot – maybe it’s the beginning, middle and end all wrapped up in a two-hour package that makes it so good.
When I was feeling unwell last week I binged on gentle comedies. There was Chalet Girl, in which Felicity Jones plays a working glass girl who falls for a posh boy and tries to win a skateboarding competition. It’s better than its predictable cliched plot thanks to a decent script and great actors, including Bill Bailey as a deadbeat dad. I followed that with Nine Months, which is pretty awful and even a small supporting role from Robin Williams couldn’t save. Then there was Julie and Julia, which I wasn’t expecting much of until the opening credits reminded me that it was screenwritten and directed by Nora Ephron, and it lived up to her high standards despite my having zero interest in historical or current TV chefs or French cooking in general (Japanese cooking, on the other hand…). And then I started watching 84 Charing Cross Road, based on the wonderful book by Helene Hanff and starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft, and frankly I was bored silly. That story just doesn’t make sense anywhere but on paper for me.