Eye For Film >> Movies >> Don't Worry About Me (2009) Film Review
Don't Worry About Me
Reviewed by: Anton Bitel
"You can show me the sights."
So says David (James Brough), unexpectedly stranded in Liverpool, to Tina (Helen Elizabeth), a kindly local who has just helped him win back his coachfare to London after he was robbed – and so, following this Merseyside meet-cute, a connection slowly forms between these two complete strangers as they spend a fleeting day together taking in what the 2008 European Capital of Culture has to offer, and dreaming, for a moment, of a different life.
It is easy enough to appreciate what Don't Worry About Me might have been, but much harder to like what it is. Screenwriters Helen Elizabeth and James Brough have worked with director (and sometimes actor) David Morrissey to adapt their own stageplay The Pool, and their material is certainly decent enough – but in agreeing also to play the lead roles themselves, they appear to have bitten off more than they can chew, with Brough in particular failing to bring to David the sort of sympathy or at least roundedness that would make credible Tina's (eventual) attraction to him. Morrissey himself, though the wrong age for the part, would have lent David far greater nuance.
What is more, while the film is clearly intended to be a bittersweet love letter to Morrissey's native city, the poor quality of the images and lighting makes the film look more like a saucy postcard (or cheap telemovie) – and the decision to use splitscreen flashbacks over the opening credits again betrays the poverty of the low-end equipment on which the film has been made.
All of which is a pity, because with a slightly bigger budget, this could have been a sort of Before Sunrise for Scousers – but merely average performances and technical flaws prove too much of a distraction for the viewer to become emotionally engaged in these characters' shared sense of isolation and yearning.Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2009
If you like this, try:Of Time And The City