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Posts Tagged ‘simon pegg’

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Nancy (Lake Bell) is 34, single and fed up of trying to find Mr Right. On a train to her parents’ 40 wedding anniversary party she meets with another passenger Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond) who leaves the book she is reading – a self-help book called 6 Million People and You – for  Nancy, because she thinks Nancy should read it. However, it turns out that Jessica was going on a blind date, and both she and her date were going to hold a copy of the book so that they could recognise each other. Jessica buys another book but meanwhile her date Jack (Simon Pegg) sees Nancy with the book and assumes that she is the girl he is meant to be meeting.

Rather than put him straight, Nancy goes on the date and the two of them get along brilliantly. But of course, the truth must out and that’s when things take a turn. A run-in with a creepy former schoolfriend of Nancy (Rory Kinnear) and Jack’s ex-wife and new partner (Olivia Williams and Stephen Campbell Moore) complicate matters even further…

I really enjoyed this film. I think it’s fairly obvious from the beginning how it’s going to turn out in the end, and anyone who has seen a rom-com before will know what to expect. But getting there is good fun – and it is great to see a romantic comedy with believable characters and not a couple of 20 somethings that look like they have just sashayed in off the catwalk (not that the two main leads aren’t attractive, because they both definitely are, but they are also relatable).

Lake Bell nails the English accent – if I didn’t know that she was American in real life, I would have thought she actually was English. And Simon Pegg was ideal in the role of a  man who has been through a bitter divorce and is hoping to come out of the other end of a dark tunnel. Sharon Horgan is great as Nancy’s sister, and I really liked Ken Stott and Harriet Walter as her parents.

I did think Olivia Williams was slightly mis-cast as Jack’s ex-wife, although she takes only a small role so it did not detract from my enjoyment. On the flip side, Rory Kinnear was deliciously creepy as the obsessed schoolmate of Nancy, who knows the truth about her identity.

As mentioned before, the ending was always fairy predictable but I liked the way it was done. If you like rom-coms, or British comedy in general, I’d recommend giving this one a go.

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Year of release: 2015

Director: Ben Palmer

Writer: Tess Morris

Main cast: Simon Pegg, Lake Bell, Rory Kinnear, Sharon Horgan, Ken Stott, Harriet Walter

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In Edinburgh in 1828, several murders were committed by Irish immigrants William Burke and William Hare, two grave robbers turned murderers, who sold the bodies of their victims to Doctor Knox, a respected doctor who gave lectures on anatomy.  This might seem like an odd subject for a comedy, but it nevertheless forms the basis of this film starring Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as the title characters.

The film is a highly fictionalised account of what took place, and depicts Burke and Hare as two bumblers, who seem to stumble upon their money-making scheme almost by accident, after previous schemes and scams failed to prove profitable.  It must be quite a challenge to take two spree killers, who murdered people purely for profit, and make them likeable characters on screen.  Their crimes were obviously inexcusable, but the film is clearly not meant to be taken seriously, and with Pegg and Serkis, the characters were interesting and funny to watch.  Pegg played Burke as a romantic, who did what he did for love (to fund a performance of Macbeth that his aspiring actress girlfriend was appearing in), while Serkis played Hare as the more nefarious of the two.  Both actors – but especially Serkis – were brilliant, and a supporting cast including Ronnie Corbett, Isla Fisher, Hugh Bonneville, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Curry and Jessica Hynes doesn’t exactly hurt matters.

It is quite weird to reconcile heinous crimes with comedy entertainment, but somehow it all works, and there is a particularly nice shot at the very end of the film, showing the real-life skeleton of Burke, which is now at Edinburgh University Museum.  There were very mixed reviews of this film when it came out, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Well worth a watch.

Year of release: 2010

Director: John Landis

Producers: James Atherton, Paul Brett, Jan Pace, Tim Smith, Alexandra Ferguson, James Spring, Barnaby Thompson

Writers: Piers Ashworth, Nick Moorcroft

Main cast: Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Tom Wilkinson, Michael Smiley, Tim Curry, Isla Fisher, Jessica Hynes, Ronnie Corbett

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