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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Rye Lane (2023)

"You have GOT to watch this," she said. This individual is not one for gushing compliments and notoriously difficult to please, cinematically. Must be good then, I thought. Knowing all too well my love for Richard Linklater, she sold it to me as a potentially 'Before' love story in the making. You know, two strangers wandering through town getting to know one another. I didn't check. I didn't need to. I was already sold.

But what I got was not quite what I expected. The similarities between Linklaters trilogy and this ends at just that plot. What is very different is the style, the tone, the script, the acting and the direction. Clearly almost identical then, eh?

The immediacy of the feeling that I had accidentally locked into BBC Three for a new, woke, diverse, promising and decidedly provincial comedy show was uppermost. But the moral of this story is that you can overhype anything you like, but it better be worth it. I couldn't shake the feeling that this was created by and for wannabe BBC youth talent members, the most promising of which had been cast in this.

The script is occasionally brilliant, but more often what they want you to hear, rather than what they want to say. I smell overarching influence, even more when Colin Firth sold them both a burrito, as if his very presence was a deliberate attempt to amplify its otherwise questionable validity. It is harmless and sometimes very sweet, but over-egging the pudding always leads to disappointment, however well-intentioned.

Don't get me wrong, this is entertaining throughout and performed with gusto and enthusiasm. I was led to believe I was getting Moet, but actually ended up with Prosecco, if you know what I mean.


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