Having been caught drink/driving, a group of men of different ages and backgrounds are required to attend counselling sessions. Soon, three of them decide that they have the opportunity of a lifetime to relieve a fourth - millionaire property developer Richard Stevens (Hywel Bennett) - of some money.

For young Jimmy (Greg Chisholm), it's the prospect of disposing of his recently deceased father's business and getting the capital he needs for his own start-up. For former salesman of the year Paul (Rupert Proctor), it's an opportunity to score some commission and prove that he's still "Mr 15 per cent." For pothead Mark (Mark Devenport), it's the chance to get his taxi business started.

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One For The Road has a problem from the off: how to combine the deadly serious subjects of drink driving and alcholism with comedy? The answer, on this evidence, is that it's impossible. Writer/director Chris Cooke appears uncertain whether he wants to make a situation comedy, or a masculinity-in-crisis drama, akin to a homegrown Glengarry Glen Ross.

While Cooke's writing is awkward, his direction is confident enough to throw in a nod to Trainspotting, as Jimmy, head down the toilet puking, is suddenly swallowed up by a blue expanse of water to then emerge into Stevens's swimming pool. He also draws good performances from the cast, with Proctor, by turns despicable and pathetic, particularly memorable.

If nothing else, by following his debut, Shifting Units, with a second entry about alcholic salesmen, Cooke has staked out his cinematic territory. He can claim, legitimately, to be the best in his field... of one.

Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2003
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One For The Road packshot
Drink-drivers gang up on a boozy millionaire and relieve him of his large change.
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Read more One For The Road reviews:

Max Blinkhorn ****
David Stanners ***

Director: Chris Cooke

Writer: Chris Cooke

Starring: Rupert Procter, Greg Chisholm, Mark Devenport, Hywel Bennett, Julie Legrand, Micaiah Dring, Jonny Phillips, Johann Myers, Penny Linfield, Tony Classen

Year: 2003

Runtime: 96 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2003

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