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Good Night, The


Stars: Martin Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Simon Pegg, Penelope Cruz, Danny DeVito

Director: Jake Paltrow

Despite its 'in' cast and fashionable director (Gwyneth's brother), this study in melancholia has sat on the shelf for more than two years and it's not too tough to see why. Jingle composer Gary (Freeman, who seems to be channelling Dudley Moore - even to playing the piano) suffers from depression and a persecution complex. Seemingly inoffensive, he's unable to hold a conversation without it developing into an argument; he's incapable of saying something nice without adding a verbal kick in the teeth.

His relationship with Dora (Paltrow) is on the rocks - no surprise there - and his motormouth pal (Pegg) has long since passed him on the ladder to success.

In his dreams, though, Gary builds up a relationship with, well, the girl of his dreams (Cruz). Buoyed up by being told that 'if your favourite song never ended, or your favourite book never closed, you'd be happy to sleep on', Gary consults a 'dream lucidity' expert (DeVito) with the idea of controlling his dreams.

Nothing, however, seems to make him any happier in real life and, when he actually meets his dreamgirl - in reality a model - Gary soon blows their tentative relationship apart by telling her that he likes her jacket...'apart from...' and so on.

Set in New York, but shot in a London that refuses to look anything like the Big Apple, the film, like Freeman's lovable puppy act, soon gets repetitive and eventually even boring before a final hopeful sequence that proves to be...only another dream.

You want to like Freeman's character, but the dialogue he's given makes it impossible. 'This is too much for me,' complains Pegg at one point. For me, it simply wasn't enough.

Alan Frank

UK/USA 2005. UK Distributor: Momentum. Colour by FotoKem.
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 12 Jan 2008