Starring: Gemma Arterton, Luke Evans, Roger Allam
Director: Stephen Frears
Running Time: 111 mins
Tamara Drewe is a British film about a small village which becomes the centre of a passionate series of arguments and relationships as a group of writers congregate, while a former ugly duckling returns to her hometown.
Enjoyably silly, full of laughs and a nice bit of romantic controversy, and complete with a plethora of excellent performances, Tamara Drewe is indeed a lot of fun, and manages to overcome what could have been a tediously twee portrayal of the English countryside.
In fact, there’s probably more controversy and drama in this movie than you’d find in an episode of Sex And The City, and that’s what makes it so surprisingly entertaining at times. It’s all very hyperbolic, and much like the stories written by the authors who find themselves all grouped together on a small farm, an enjoyably fanciful story of a chaotic period of time in an idyllic village.
The film isn’t exactly laugh-out-loud hilarious, but there is a certain preposterousness which makes it delightfully silly. Everything that could go wrong goes awfully wrong here, and as a result, you’re allowed to sit back and embrace the chaos as it becomes crazier and crazier, the exact opposite of what you’d expect from its setting.
There’s a lot which makes Tamara Drewe a fun watch, but its greatest strength without a doubt is its performances. With a collection of great British actors including Roger Allam, Tamsin Greig, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans and Gemma Arterton, there’s a heap of talent on screen here, and they all gel fantastically well as their various characters end up either falling out or falling in love with one another at different points of the movie.
However, while those are the big names that sell this movie, a special mention has to go to the young Jessica Barden, who is fantastically funny through this whole movie as a mischievous teenage girl who accidentally becomes the centre of all the drama unfolding in the village.
Of all the performances on screen, Barden’s is by far the most spirited, and brings a real pep to the movie’s humour, preventing it from getting all too carried away by the chaos of its romance, and retaining a degree of quaint small-town comedy that makes the film all the more lovable.
Overall, I really enjoyed Tamara Drewe. A delightfully chaotic comedy throughout, the film counts on a strong screenplay and a collection of fantastic performances to deliver a thoroughly entertaining watch throughout, full of laughs, controversy and more. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7.