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Grow Your Own (AF)


Stars: Benedict Wong, Eddie Marsan, Omid Djalili, Philip Jackson, Pearce Quigley, John Henshaw, Olivia Colman, Joanna Scanlan

Director: Richard Laxton

Doubtless writers Frank Cottrell Boyce and Carl Hunter, director Richard Laxton and everyone in front of the camera meant well making this crass comedy-drama about the clash of cultures between grumpy English allotment owners and the asylum seekers allocated plots in this ‘hallowed ground’. But the less-than-riveting result simply resembles a (rightly) forgotten 50-year-old Ealing comedy which has been pointlessly disinterred, colourised and inflicted on the paying public.

Depressingly, even if you decide to give it a miss (and I recommend that, given a chance to miss this misbegotten mess, you seize it with both hands), sadly you’ve already paid for it twice, once with Lottery money and again with finance from the BBC which appears to be an easy mark for finance-seeking moviemakers. I believe Lottery money should be used to fund the NHS rather than helping pay for bad British films (anyone remember Sex Lives of the Potato Men?). As for the BBC, currently bleating about having to cut jobs because their licence to spend our money has been reduced, why has the licence fee been used to fund a trite TV movie-style farrago which will probably be turned off when it finally lands on the small screen. Most gardeners will recognise it as manure.

Alan Frank

UK 2006. UK Distributor: Pathe. Colour.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 Jun 2007