Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

A film about a loser is never easy. The Graduate ended up with the girl, so he doesn't count. It's worse when the anti-hero thinks he's a dude, like Frank (Matthew Rhys), while everyone else knows he's a flake.

Nick Grosso's film looks improvised in the style of second year media studies. Frank's mates, Johnny (Justin Salinger) and Pete (Matthew Dunster), are supposed to be babeaholics and yet are ridiculously camp.

This is the final summer at college, when students have paired off. Not these guys. Pete's into any female with a pulse, Johnny's a no-hoper and Frank's skint. Social life is pub, or club. Frank can't cope. When Cherry (Kelly Reilly), already drunk, confesses: "I've got the biggest crush on you," all he can say is: "You're jokin!"

As well as suffering self-delusions about his personality, he spends quality time stretched out on a sofa watching crap on TV. In fact, by the end, you suspect he has a few screws loose. Can anyone be this insensitive?

The film fits into the fashionable London ensemble genre, without paying its dues. You never get to know the girls, except Cherry, who seems too nice to have anything to do with a no-brain like Frank.

There are moments of realism when Grosso tells the truth about working-class students' inability to handle social situations without reinventing themselves. What makes Pete run? Why's Frank such a blank page? Who could possibly laugh at Johnny's jokes?

"I have something on my mind," Frank says.

"That's a turn up," Cherry says.

She's right, of course. Except she's wrong. He doesn't have anything on his mind. Or rather, he did, but he's forgotten.

Reviewed on: 11 Oct 2001
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Three London college scammers go after girls with only limited success.
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Director: Nick Grosso

Writer: Nick Grosso

Starring: Matthew Rhys, Kelly Reilly, Justin Salinger, Matthew Dunster, Sophie Okonedo, Emily Hillier, Stephanie Bagshaw, Sheridan Smith, Lucy Pargeter, Eddie Marsan, Sally Bretton

Year: 2000

Runtime: 84 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Ireland


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