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Cemetery Junction


Stars: Christian Cooke, Felicity Jones, Tom Hughes, Jack Doolan, Ricky Gervais, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Matthew Goode, Anne Reid, Julia Davis

Director: Stephen Merchant, Ricky Gervais

A rites-of-passage tale, set in 1973, that's mostly as dull and boring as the dull and deadly lives of the three leading characters, just hitting their twenties as they dream of ecsaping their humdrum lives in the eponymous junction.

Given charismatic young leads in Cooke and Jones, co-directors Merchant and Gervais (the latter also seen as Cooke's drudge of a father) toss them away on a banal and anodyne story.

Cooke plays a guy who's swopped the local factory for a job in insurance, where his old sweetheart the boss's daughter (Jones) is now engaged to a smoothie salesman (an awful role for the talented Goode that could hinder his career) in the mould of her soulless father (Fiennes) who now ignores her downtrodden mother (Watson), who makes an unconvincing rebellion at the end.

Cooke's mates are two unconvincing types lost in a limbo-land between conventional lives and a lifetime of loutishness; gauche but unaware of it, you would be sure that if they had a train of thought it would never reach the station. Despite ideas from better films stitched together, the dialogue lacks all inspiration and there's little the performers can do to give it the spark of life. I'm a big Gervais fan but, as a writing-directing debut, this is pretty inauspicious.

David Quinlan

UK 2010. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Technicolor/Colour by deluxe.
95 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

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

Review date: 10 Apr 2010