Reviewed by: Nicholas Dawson

"Despite the cast's efforts, the film is a bit of a nothing."

First of all, you should know that I'm a fan of James Fleet. In this he plays the eccentric Adrian who inherits a Wiltshire dairy farm when his elderly mother dies. Soon a flock of relatives descend on the farm, each with their own agenda. The inheritance suddenly makes Adrian available to two village women with marriage in mind, but he is more interested in fascinating French hitchhiker Ilaria (Clotilde Courau).

James Fleet is great, bringing his own inimitable charm to the character of Adrian. There is also an enjoyable supporting cast including Dawn French, Phyllida Law and the wonderful Peter Jones as the kleptomaniac uncle. Yet despite the cast's efforts, the film is a bit of a nothing: it is by parts black comedy, unromantic romance and dreary drama, but lacks the skill to bring these elements coherently together. That this is writer/director Brookfield's first feature is sadly obvious: the scenes in which characters are emotional seem entirely false.

A sort of black No Weddings And A Funeral, the film belongs totally to Fleet. He alone is worth the entrance fee. Well, almost.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Black comedy about a man who inherits a dairy farm.
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Director: William Brookfield

Writer: William Brookfield

Starring: James Fleet, Clotilde Courau, Phyllida Law, Joss Ackland, Peter Jones, Francesca Annis, Dawn French, Lesley Manville

Year: 1999

Runtime: 96 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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Four Weddings And A Funeral