Fanny and Elvis

*1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The artificiality of the plot interferes with Kerry Fox's wholehearted performance. It feels as if writer/director Kay Mellor slots in the supporting cast to suit herself, rather than what the characters might feel. Ray Winstone, playing another of his hard man Cockney roles, this time in Yorkshire, which feels a bit odd, starts off as a loudmouthed garage owner, who treats women like dirt, and ends up all cuddly and sweet, only too happy to oblige.

It's all about babies. Or rather, a woman's desire to have them. Kate (Fox) is a first time romantic novelist, completely scatty, and married to teacher Rob (David Morrissey). Her doctor says that the biological clock is ticking, which means she had better move it if she wants to get pregnant. She's "thirtysomething" - i.e. closer to 40 - and the book's with the publisher.

Rob decides to run off with a sexy post grad student, whose husband is the noisy brute in the garage (Winstone). Much shouting and screaming ensues. Kate's overdrawn, in a fix and without a bloke. Her lodger (Ben Daniels) is her best friend, but he's gay, so that's out of the question. She has to let another room in the house to make ends meet and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to guess who moves in. And what's more, they start off by loathing each other.

As a romantic comedy, this cringes more than it cracks up. The situations are so predictable, they might as well have signposts. For example, Kate's in bed with a mobile phone salesman, when brrrr brrrr... It has as much to do with Yorkshire as the Kennington Oval. The bank manager's black, for heaven's sake. And gay! In Hebden Bridge?

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Fanny and Elvis packshot
A woman decides she wants a baby... just as her husband walks out.
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Director: Kay Mellor

Writer: Kay Mellor

Starring: Kerry Fox, Ray Winstone, Ben Daniels, David Morrissey, Jennifer Saunders, Colin Salmon, Gaynor Faye, William Ash, Gareth Tudor Price, Bridget Forsythe, Eileen O'Brien

Year: 1999

Runtime: 111 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

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