It's good - but it isn't 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.
Frequently Asked Questions about Time Travel (15)
Director Gareth Carrivick Starring Chris O'Dowd, Marc Wootton, Dean Lennox Kelly, Anna Faris and Meredith MacNeil
Two star rating
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It's a comedy, a British comedy, that isn't particularly funny. But apart from that, it's not at all
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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.