Complete A-Z list

Chicklit (AF)


Stars: Christian McKay, Caroline Catz, Dakota Blue Richards, Miles Jupp, David Troughton, Tom Palmer, Eileen Atkins, John Hurt, James Wilby, Niamh Cusack, Cathy Tyson

Director: Tony Britten

When four locals realise their beloved Norfolk pub is about to close down they decide to rescue their happy nights of drinking, dominoes and arguments by joining forces to writing a chick lit novel whose style and content are firmly manacled to the legendary bestseller ‘Fifty Shades of Grey”.

Led by local newspaper journalist Christian McKay, the quartet deliver.

And their mummy porn manuscript (“Imagine Barbara Cartland with whips and chains”) is picked up for exploitation by publishers Eileen Atkins and booze-happy John Hurt, the latter in enjoyable over-the-top form (and sporting a mad moustache that makes a bison’s horns seem retarded) – but there’s a problem.

The publishers want the pseudonymous female author to publicise the book – which leads to an out-of-work actress being hired to pose as the writer of what Atkins describes acidly as an “outré little tale”…

Needless to say know-all reviewers take to the projects, claiming it “redefines the genre” – one line “How to avoid rope burns in bondage situations” seems to tie up the praise, leaving the book to sell well and, obviously, to be banned from East Anglia mobile libraries….

Chicklit, directed and co-written (with Tony Britten) by Oliver Britten doesn’t pretend to be anything more than amiable and enjoyable satire. Thanks to a pleasing cast (Miles Jupp, in particular, strikes exactly the right light notes as the local bookmaker and co-author) the film breaks no new creative bounds but entertains in a manner that (apart from the smutty storyline, of course) pleasantly recalls the long-ago days of Ealing.

Alan Frank

UK 2015. UK Distributor: Coach House Films. Colour.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 02 Sep 2016