Tamara Drewe (2010)
Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 119
Fresh: 79 | Rotten: 40
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 10
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 9,010
Stephen Frears directed this comedy drama about an ugly duckling who's followed by a handful of suitors after maturing into a sexy swan. Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) was born and raised in Ewedown, a quiet community on the outskirts of London dominated by a writer's colony run by Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam), a best-selling novelist who specializes in crime fiction, and his wife Beth (Tamsin Greig). When Tamara left Ewedown, she was a plain and awkward teenager, but when she returns home
Oct 8, 2010 Limited
Feb 8, 2011
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"Tamara Drewe" is a wickedly smart hybrid of a literary roundelay and a postfeminist manifesto.
There's a whiff of desperation behind the comic romp Tamara Drewe that gives it some unexpected sting.
This screen adaptation by director Stephen Frears successfully re-creates the strip's pastoral tone and cheeky humor.
The film lacks Frears' usual master touch; it often feels flat and self-conscious, in a way that the book never does.
While no one would celebrate Tamara Drewe as a great movie, it is a reliable dispenser of visual and erotic pleasures.
You know where you're going in territory that's actually more Jane Austen than Hardy, but Frears makes the most of the many bumps and twists.
A judicious comic actor, Arterton plays the eponymous Tamara, who throws a small English village into a tizzy when she returns from London to put the family cottage on the market.
The overripe Arterton is put on glorious display, but... there's little joy and not much romp in this cluttered sex farce.
Frears' loose-limbed film, while warm and fitfully witty, feels consistently and steadfastly like less than the sum of its parts.
It's only as the narrative adopts an increasingly episodic feel that one's interest begins to wane...
It's a fine diversion filled with silly people following their silly desires.
Frears' screen version slightly coarsens Simmonds' wit and softens her sharpness, but even if his film manages to be more cartoony than the original cartoons, it remains hugely enjoyable.
It doesn't hold together that well, but there are enough moments of wry inspiration to keep the movie more or less afloat.
[Stephen] Frears brings a light touch and a knowing compassion to this pastoral romantic farce...
The literary set pieces and the rock legend versus teenage stalkers are great fun. Watch for some excellent Thomas Hardy jokes. Episodic but diverting.
The characters are silly, self-centred and mindless in their pursuit of satisfaction and, of course, that's absolutely forgivable since it's all too human. But Frears seems to want to 'say something' about modern sexuality in an age of cyber bullying.
Stephen Frears drapes Tamara Drewe over the screen like a patchwork quilt of half-finished comic sketches and pointless sub-plots.
Frears' broader aim is to fully chart the daisy chain of consequences set in train by bad moral behaviour, a theme that has proved a favourite of his and which he prosecutes here with very satisfying results.
There's something about the desperation of Jody that gives the film its most uncomfortable and surprising moments. Otherwise, it's a bit of a stroll down familiar paths.
Good-natured as it is, it isn't nearly witty enough to justify the efforts of Frears's gifted cast.
As these alternately unpleasant and unfortunate souls churn about in their bucolically-set burlesque, the impression is that director Stephen Frears was out to lunch and instead employed the Scary Movie team to make English Sex Farce Movie.
While beautifully shot, this film never seems to work as its characters are unbelievable and it shifts uneasily between comedy and drama.
The film's blustery sexual mishaps and misunderstandings become a bit too cute as the film chugs to its 111th minute; not even a comically violent twist in the final act could resuscitate interest.
Audience Reviews for Tamara Drewe
- Tamara Drewe: Ben... which finger?
- Ben Sergeant: Whichever one you like. This one's nice... stick it on this one.
- Eustacia: Lesbian crime!
- Tamara Drewe: It's not actually new, it's just smaller.
- Nicholas Hardiment: The real secret about being a writer is learning how to lie.
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