Sunday, 15 September 2013


The new Richard Curtis movie is a paean to family, and the love that is required to make families work. What people whose family life has been miserable will make of it I don't really know, though I can imagine it being accused of smugness.  But it isn't smug at all, it is straightforwardly sentimental.  I cried almost from the beginning and was having to swallow sobs by the end.  I also laughed a lot.  One can see in it all sorts of familiar Curtis tropes - wacky sister, gauche lead and so on - but the presiding genius is Dickens, who never eschewed sentimentality and managed to do jokes as well as - well, better than, actually - anyone.  Curtis acknowledges this, and the film is episodic, rambles, doesn't pretend that the science fiction time-travelling thing actually works, and generally resembles the way a Dickens novel came together. The film begins with family, has a family wedding at its centre, and ends with family, and the message is: love begets love. Which I reckon beats any amount of robots.  There is only one serious thing wrong with it: the title.  It suggests irritation.  In My Arms would have been far better. Terrific soundtrack: The Cure, Nick Cave, Ron Sexsmith (Gold in Them Hills - another great title?)

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