Starring: Rita Tushingham, Lynn Redgrave, Michael York
Director: Desmond Davis
Running Time: 96 mins
Smashing Time is a British film about two friends who travel to London with the hope of making it big. However, a series of misfortunes leads them into chaos quickly after arriving in the capital, and only a stroke of luck can propel them to the dreams they’re chasing.
Sure, Smashing Time may not be an all-time classic of ’60s London on film, but it’s a film that you can’t help but love. A fluffy, easy-going and delightfully silly romp that plays on all of the stereotypes of the city at the time, Smashing Time is an absolute joy, with a good few laughs and a pair of effortlessly lovable performances from its lead actresses.
Let’s start on that point, because while Smashing Time may not have the narrative depth to really grip you, its lead performances really help to keep you entertained. Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave are a delightfully odd pair of friends, both of whom really give their all in zippy, cutesy roles that form the bedrock of this fluffy caper.
There’s all manner of ups and downs to their friendship, constantly swinging around as they navigate the trials and tribulations of London, but the pair do have a joyful chemistry that makes an absolute delight to watch, and that brings a great deal of energy to make Smashing Time really deliver on its title.
I won’t say that I was laughing my socks off from start to finish here. There are a couple of great jokes, but the biggest joy in this film comes from the consistently silly story, fluffy atmosphere and light-hearted humour. Smashing Time strikes up some good parody of the many stereotypes of London in the ’60s too, and it uses those clichés to its advantage time and again.
Popping with gorgeous colour that makes the film look just as beautiful as The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, Smashing Time contrasts that with all of the gritty edges to London that a rosy-eyed view of the era will always miss out on. That really helps the movie offer something a little different to the actual swinging sixties films you’ll know and love, and strike up a good few laughs at the same time.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with Smashing Time. It’s no comedic masterpiece, and it certainly doesn’t stand among the most charismatic British movies of the ’60s. However, it’s difficult to look past the film’s absolutely joyful, light-hearted, silly humour and storytelling, all of which makes it an effortless delight to watch. So, that’s why I’m giving Smashing Time a 7.4.