If You Are Lonely… #filmreview

… build a robot.

That, at least was Brian’s solution in the newly released British Comedy, Brian and Charles.

Why do we nationalise comedy? Are we so different, or just arrogant that our comedy is somehow better, more comedic than, say, the Dutch or the Tristan Da Cunans? Perhaps it’s because comedy isn’t as universal as, say, a love story. It’s very personal, what makes us laugh. I doubt it is even national or regional or dependent on postcode or street number or shoe size or a voting inclination or anything.

So recommendations of funnies can belly flop with the gravitational pull of the dropped slice of buttered toast and whether they end up sticky side up or down is dependent on goodness knows what…

The latest ‘British’ comedy is a slow paced story set in Wales of Brian, a man adrift and incapable of realising he is actually in a rut, let alone climb out. He’s a local handyman and, in his glory hole and glorious man cave, aka the cattle shed, he invents. A pine cone bag, a mechanised mug washer, an egg belt, he turns his mind and hand to all sorts. He raids fly tippers’ worse excesses and uses his finds to inspire yet more crackers inventions. And that leads him to a washing machine and a robot. Said Robot rejects Clive and Tony as names and chooses Charles.

He grows though compliant baby years to rebellious teenagerdom while bringing some ordered meaning to Brian’s life.

It’s not easy, mind. There’s a love interest which Brian seems destined to cock up without Charles’s bluntness; there’s a local bully to be confronted and there are Charles’ growing needs to be independent.

It’s the sort of film that, unlike most of the output on Prime and Netflix and the Beeb doesn’t need any warnings. There aren’t many upsetting scenes – maybe, two – and nothing very dramatic.

You don’t punch the air when you leave the cinema; you stand back and let the chap in front go first. You smile, but not a lot. You don’t overthink it; you don’t have any particular insights, apart maybe from the fact that nice guys can win and when they do… things aren’t really that bad.

And you get home and England’s women have won the semis of the Euros and a little girl is all over twitter for dancing with the team as they celebrated and…

… the news comes on and reality bites…

…but only a little. Thanks to Brian and Charles, one man and his robot.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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12 Responses to If You Are Lonely… #filmreview

  1. Stephen Tanham says:

    Love it, Geoff. And the gravitational toast reference.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joylennick says:

    Intriguing…but, of course, it remains to be seen. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reality does bite but this review was lovely.


  4. JT Twissel says:

    I love British comedies – but then many Americans I know think I am quite odd !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This has been quite enlightening. I’ll look for it. I have been paying for Britbox to watch as many British detective shows as I can find. They are very different from ours and I like them better. Always the odd duck in the pond here. Comedy is hard! Being funny without being stupid is hard. I hate stupid comedy. I’ve also taken a strong liking to British, Irish and Swedish writers. They say things very differently and I have to work to get the gist of what’s happening. I think you see the world differently than here. I loved your book “The Art of Spirit Capture” for those reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. noelleg44 says:

    Sounds really interesting, Geoff. I’ll look for it on the Sundance channel. Is it just my imagination, but does that robot look a little like Robin Williams?

    Liked by 1 person

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