Cemetery Junction Reviews
A 1970s-set comedy centered on three young working class friends in a dreary suburb of Reading.
While it lacks the puerile talentless 'comedy' stylings that dominate most popular comedies these days, Cemetery Junction manages to provide a stunning example of the British comedy-drama at its best. Flawless heart-breakingly realistic performances all round (Ralph Fiennes makes a chilling boss, even with the few lines he has), great hilarious set-ups (won't reveal too much, but one of the best ones involves Slade, and a certain well-known children's TV character), and a heartwarming message about family, friendship and wanting more out of life (themes perfected by Gervais and Merchant with The Office and Extras). It provides situations and gags that sound relatively unoriginal on paper, but become something new entirely on screen. It has a real heart, genuine emotion, genius humour, and showcases what makes good old-fashioned British dramas the best.
However, I fear those seeking a stupid comedy like The Hangover or Cop Out (where ridiculous unrealistic characters say random things desperate for laughs) will probably be disappointed. In short, a fantastic film for those who appreciate British comedy dramas in the vein of The Full Monty or East is East. Also, watch out for bald-headed Manc Karl Pilkington's 1 second cameo!
This is a well made film from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant that while it has some funny moments isn't really a comedy. There's some movie cliches in the film, but it's executed in a fresh way by the creators and the actors in the film. The message in the film outweighs some of the typical movie moments. A very good film from across the Atlantic.
Director: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Summary: "Taking a new job to escape a bleak existence as a working-class stiff in a small English town, Freddie Taylor (Christian Cooke) gets ensconced in more drama than he bargained for when he runs into his old flame, Julie (Felicity Jones). Now Freddie and his mates, Bruce (Tom Hughes) and Snork (Jack Doolan), must navigate the consequences of the lovely lady's unexpected reappearance.
My Thoughts: "I really enjoyed this dramedy. It has many laughs. My favorite was the dialogue between the grandma and father. Great stuff, plenty of laughs from them. But its an all around great British comedy/drama. Loved the characters. Its about these three friends who are just trying to find their way. Snork just wants to find a gal who will accept him and his tattoo (which is hilarious). Freddie, doesn't want to end up like his father (Gervais) working at a dead end job and having nothing to show for it. Bruce wants out of the small town and is angry at the world, but mainly at his father and goes around getting himself into a lot of fist fights. In the end they all in some way find their path. It's a really good story with laughs throughout that really makes it not only relatable but enjoyable."
While "Cemetery Junction" is an engaging movie with likable performances from its young cast, it also suffers from haphazard editing with sudden plot shifts throughout and one scene that goes on forever that fails in its attempt to be the climax. So while the movie might seem forced and cliched at times(especially the soundtrack), it actually has more important things on its mind as it gives fresh perspective to what it truly means to be an adult which lends a great deal of emotional depth to the proceedings. The guys have a decision to make as they are confronted by possible future versions of themselves, with only two readily apparent choices, both of which are traps.(Kendrick is from the same neighborhood as Freddie and might see part of himself in the young man.) Thankfully, this is not only limited to the men, as Julie's fate is also on the line. So, it should come as no surprise that the ending feels familiar but also with a twist, allowing the characters to comment on the silliness of it all.
Cemetery Junction was written and directed by two great comedians, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the same guys who brought you The Office (and a rather recent show An Idiot Abroad). However Cemetery Junction failed to give me the laughs. There were some laughs in places, even though they were rather primitive for the most part, unless I just didn't get the humour and just laughed at the most basic of humour in the movie.
Other than that, the movie was more of an emotional drama if you ask me. I think in terms of putting across a clear message to the viewers it succeeds. The film is about a young adult, who has aspirations in life, to get a job, to be rich and to have a family. Two of his friends however are less interested in that and just live life as it is. The location is supposed to be one of the poorest in UK as I've gathered and so it was a big deal to be able to get out there and to get a well-paid job. Well it is a big deal even now, but for those guys it would've been a dream. Things get more complicated when the main character meets a childhood friend he falls in love with.
The film showed contrast of lives well - the people who want to do something big with their life and those who just prefer to get on with it, the people who value freedom, independency and personal aspirations, and those who just follow the standard conventional methods and try to mute the others. I think that was the movie's strength. However I was preparing myself to watch a comedy, and in terms of giving laughter it didn't do so well in my opinion.
All in all an OK movie. I doubt I'd watch it again though.