It's good - but it isn't funny

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:08 07 September 2010

Frequently Asked Questions about Time Travel (15) Director Gareth Carrivick Starring Chris O Dowd, Marc Wootton, Dean Lennox Kelly, Anna Faris and Meredith MacNeil 83 mins Two star rating It s a comedy, a British comedy, that isn t particularly funny.

Frequently Asked Questions about Time Travel (15)

Director Gareth Carrivick Starring Chris O'Dowd, Marc Wootton, Dean Lennox Kelly, Anna Faris and Meredith MacNeil

83 mins

Two star rating

It's a comedy, a British comedy, that isn't particularly funny. But apart from that, it's not at all

bad.

That marvelous title means you go in favourably disposed towards it. The down side, of course, is that it is such a good title you are left wondering how exactly it is going to fail to live up to it. As it's centred on three underachiever friends - two of whom are sci fi nerds - the initial fear is that the title is just going to be a bogus enticement for a British style slacker piece.

But no, the film is actually about time travel - although time travel set almost entirely in a pub.

Ray (O'Dowd) has just lost his job at an amusement park and goes to a pub to drown his sorrow with friends Toby (Wootton) and Pete (Kelly) - only to be visited in the snug by glamorous Cassie (Faris) claiming to be a fan of his from 150 years in the future.

From there, it's just a short trip to the gents to a maze of parallel universes, time paradoxes and doppelgangers.

I bet when people first read the script by stand-up comic Jamie Mathieson, they thought they had uncovered a gem.

On paper, it must have seemed very bold and inventive, cleverly setting up comic situations and exploring fantasy ideas but in a cost-effective, small cast, few locations way.

A theme of the piece is just how mind-scramblingly strange the concept of time travel is. Yet its mysteries are nothing to those of comedy.

Director Carrivick has had a long career doing a variety of TV comedies (The Smoking Room to Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps) but he can't get round a script that does not have any real killer lines and a lack of chemistry between the three leads.

They are all talented performers but not necessarily endearing ones. It's odd casting - the star of The IT Crowd (O'Dowd), a man from Shameless (Kelly) and the star of some of TV's most abrasive recent comedies (Wooton).

The career path from Friday night Channel 4 cult comedy to movie star is not an untrodden one, but it takes something miraculous to complete. Expect these three to suffer badly in Frequently Made Comparisons with Frost/Pegg.


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