Arts + Culture » Film + TV

Cemetery Junction

Directed by Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais (Columbia/Tristar)

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Perhaps the biggest problem with Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais’ lukewarm 1970s coming-of-age tale is the anticipation of satirical bite. After all, this is the team reponsible for The Office and Extras. But the only teeth in the screenplay is given to Gervais, underused as a crusty father with a lifetime of factory work behind him. Much of Gervais’ comedy has pivotted on his puggish appearance (see Bowie’s “Little Fat Man” from Extras), so it’s especially amusing to see a such ridiculously good-looking cast: Christian Cooke, as Freddie Taylor, a young man determined not to get stuck in the factory; his fist-fighting buddy Tom Hughes, who appears to have stumbled out of a Burberry ad, and Felicity Jones, as the boss’ daughter, who opens Freddie’s mind to the possibilities outside of small-town England. But if you reset those expectations back to the 1970s, to American films like Diner, and ignore all the growing-up cliches, this is a sweet little piece of nostalgia.

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