Casting relative newcomers across the board, and surrounding them with more seasoned British stars like Ralph Fiennes and Emily Mortimer pays off, as the young cast all shine.
Christian Cooke stars as Freddie, a hardworking twenty something with mild ambitions from the dead end town of Cemetery Junction in Reading. Freddie doesn't want to spend his best days working in the local factory like his sardonic father (played by Gervais - appearing sparingly) and his best mate, so goes to work for Fiennes' insurance tycoon. Soon he becomes besotted with his freespirited daughter, who's shacking up with Matthew Goode's top company salesman.
Boasting a soundtrack that will invoke pangs of nostalgia from more mature audience members, Merhcant and Gervais' first feature film together is really nothing like their small screen outings. It seems that was the point, as they move firmly behind the camera, occasionally offering up the kind of humour that made them the poster boys for British comedy. The real stars are Cooke, Hughes and Doolan, three lads on the perennial jolly-up, who give their well-written characters heart and likeability; everyone has or had a mate like one of them.
Marking the arrival of some talented new faces, fans of the seminal humour of The Office and Extras will undoubtedly be disappointed with the relative lack of laughs, but this will still leave you with a smile.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Saturday 21st August 2010 | DVD review
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