8:00 PM, 24th May, 2013
If you didn’t like Love Actually or Bridget Jones’s Diary then maybe you won’t like this one, which is of the same ilk. If you like these British comedies you know what you are getting and will be lining up without even knowing what it is about.
It is a look at the trials and tribulations of a pair of newlyweds during their first year as a married couple. It doesn’t have Hugh Grant for a change but it does have Minnie Driver, who says the title phrase “I give it a year” at the wedding reception in the belief that the couple isn’t really suited. Is she right? There is an Australian flavour with Rose Byrne playing the (English) bride and Simon Baker as a potential threat to the marriage.
The interaction of the circle of friends gives this film a feel similar to Four Weddings and A Funeral, another of my favourite movies. Maybe it is my English heritage but I totally relax into films like this and will be there to enjoy this one. I suggest that you might, too.
9:52 PM, 24th May, 2013
The ‘Little’ in the title refers to the minds and not the ages of our protagonists, of course. Via an opening credits montage, we’re introduced to like-minded pre-teens Nige and Deano. The duo stay friends, growing into Bret McKenzie (better known as half of ‘Flight of the Conchords’) and Hamish Blake (half of ‘Hamish and Andy’), who are utterly fixated on sleaze, booze and, rather unhealthily, each other. Soon, though, enough’s enough for Nige, and he moves out of their shared home in Invercargill, circa 1990s; Deano is naturally distraught.
Fast forward to present day, where Nige finds himself in a spot of bother after a series of unfortunate incidents involving a hot meat pie, a ginger cat and the untimely death of a Scandinavian soccer star. He seeks out Deano for help, doing his best to avoid the attention of Deano’s new housemate, gentle giant Gav (Pohatu). The problem is Deano is not really the kind of guy you should turn to in a crisis. The friendship begins to fray…
Unfortunately the film struggles with its own identity, never really knowing what it wants to be. The leads are accomplished comedians, and certainly have their funny moments, but the script doesn’t match well with their comedic style and would probably have better suited a more serious cast (eg Ewan McGregor in Shallow Grave). There are some fun moments, and some amazing shots of New Zealand’s scenery to enjoy, but this certainly isn’t the best film on the program this semester.