Sundance Review: "Son of Rambow" Delights; "Broken English" Has Charm To Spare

by Tim Ryan | Wednesday, Jan. 24 2007

Read on for short reviews of films playing at Sundance: "Son of Rambow" is a delightful Brit-com about some youngsters making a "First Blood"-style action movie, and "Broken English," is a solid romantic comedy, buoyed by Parker Posey's charming lead performance.

"Son of Rambow" is Brit-com of a high order. In other words, it's a scrappy underdog story that's more than a little predictable but completely charming. "Rambow" tells the story of Will (Bill Milner), a young boy who, as the member of a strict religious order, isn't allowed to watch TV or movies. His world changes when, after meeting school troublemaker Carter (Will Poulter), he sees a bootleg copy of "First Blood" and is instantly transfixed. The two boys, with the help of a well-coiffed David Gahan-esque French exchange student, set out to make a new Rambo movie, to the consternation of Will's loving but concerned mother (Jessica Stevenson), who gets an earful about her son's behavior from church members. "Son of Rambow" is delightful, filled with well-drawn characters, delirious sight gags, and more than a little heart. Writer/ Director Garth Jennings has created a wonderful satire of low budget filmmaking, as well as a poignant coming-of-age tale.


Parker Posey (left) in "Broken English."

"Even I can't stand the scent of my own desperation," says Nora (Parker Posey) early in Zoe Cassavetes' "Broken English." Nora has an alcohol problem and terrible luck with the men in her life, which include a self-absorbed TV actor (Justin Theroux), a seemingly nice guy obsessed with his ex (Josh Hamilton), and even, suggests Nora's mother (Gena Rowlands), the husband of her best friend. She meets an overly romantic Frenchman (Melvil Poupard) at a party, and slowly succumbs to his charms; after he leaves the country, Nora and her best friend (Drea de Matteo) go to Paris to find him, and learn about themselves in the process. "Broken English" isn't particularly profound, but it's an enjoyable enough ride, especially because of Posey's charming performance. She's the type of girl who could be a catch, if she just took a deep breath.

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