Don't Go Breaking My Heart


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Why should anyone care less about a physical training instructor and a thirtysomething widow, who has given up sex? Executive producer Anthony Edwards (Dr Green from ER) has made certain that the English male cast is uniformly unattractive. Charles Dance plays a never-too-old-to-groove dentist, with stomach-churning chat-up lines and a retro-cool ponytail. Jenny Seagrove, as the mother-of-two, is Meg Ryan. Except she isn't. Same role, different style.

Edwards coaches Seagrove's slug of a son to become a star in school athletics. Dance hypnotises Seagrove to accept his invitation to dinner, followed by indoor games at her place. Edwards says, "I love you", almost before being introduced, and Dance keeps sticking his fingers into her mouth when she's unconscious - it's an orthodontic thing. She doesn't want to be interfered with in any way, especially not romantically. Or so she says. The tension is killing.

This strain of romantic comedy is only too common in the Sandra Bullock school of wannabee Hollywood entertainment. Charm, or rather the appearance of sentimentality, is essential. Seagrove looks fit, while boring for Britain. Edwards has a North American gauchness that ladies-with-babies find sexy. The plot should have been doused in irony and the supporting characters led away in chains.

Suddenly, after all hope has been exhausted, Tom Conti pops up, playing Peter Sellers as a nutty psychiatrist. It is a moment of outrageous indulgence - reckless, overcooked and somewhat delightful. And then he's gone. The interschools track-and-yawn is not quite the same after that.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Rom com about a widow making a romantic choice between a dodgy dentist and a trainer with a heart of gold.
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Director: Willi Paterson

Writer: Jeff Morrow

Starring: Charles Dance, Jenny Seagrove, Anthony Edwards, Tom Conti, Linford Christie, Ben Reynolds, Ace Ryan, Amanda Holden

Year: 1998

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK


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