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View All Tamara Drewe News
All Critics (123)
| Top Critics (28)
| Fresh (79)
| Rotten (44)
| DVD (5)
"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.
Tamara Drewe's self-proclamations of having blended "intelligent" British humour with black comedy slowly fritters away as the film plods towards its abrupt and wholly unsatisfactory ending.
It sounds like a fun romp, and it should be a fun romp, but it isn't. Instead, it's tiring and plain silly, without a single plausible character.
The project has a slapdash, good-enough-for-government work feel to it.
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.
Somehow this thing is supposed to be a spin on Far From the Madding Crowd but except for the merest passing references it bears no semblance to that story.
Tamara Drewe is a highly disappointing film, considering the excellent director (Frears) and stellar English cast. It is neither funny enough to be a rural sex farce (like Bergman's 'Smiles for a Summer Night' or even 'The Big Chill'), nor is it melodramatic, juicy or meaningful enough to be a great, ripping Victorian style yarn. It splits the difference and fails to achieve either goal, and loses the audience early in the movie.
Taking a contemporary graphic novel (by Posy Simmonds) inspired by a Thomas Hardy book sounds intriguing, but this entire movie worth much less than each of its excellent component parts. I know the Hardy story (Far From the Madding Crowd) is a far more satisfying experience, and though I haven't read the Posy SImmonds graphic novel, it must surely be more consistent in tone and execution than this hodgepodge.
Tamara (Gemma Arterton) is a former ugly duckling with a huge honker who returns to her native village as a successful journalist and is now a swan (with an all correcting nose job) and proceeds to have affairs with three contrasting men, a local married thriller writer (Allam), a rock star (Cooper) and finally, the salt of the earth good man (Evans) who is a down on his luck laborer on her family's property.
Arterton is certainly sexy and intelligent, but she does not carry the film with the requisite charisma. She failed to make me empathize with her character's plight, what with owning a stunning country property, being stunning, and having the choice of any man she wants. The three men are all cliches and I didn't care about them much either, since they didn't really come across as three dimensional human being. Much of the drama and conflict of the story is experienced through the writer's long suffering and naive wife, (Tamsin Greig) who is the only character that I cared about, and then only marginally, mostly due to Greig's memorable, often funny and vulnerable performance. There are two teens in love with the rock star, and so they make everyone's live miserable with their meddling, undermining behavior. They are fun, but their meddling is there to just provide convenient and paint by numbers plot complications, which involve, among other things, hacked and fake phone messages (rapidly becoming a tired movie cliche).
The film has a macabre and dire ending (true to Hardy) that does not fit with the mostly farcical tone of the rest of the film. Sorry, worth a sleepy plane ride if you can't select the content, but there are so many other superior similar films (Mike Leigh's lighter fare, for example). I know that's not a very big thumbs up at all.
A strange mix of comedy and drama. A cute film with a couple stand out performances. Youngster Jessica Barden plays her character well and its her mis placed young crush now that set into motion events that bring the main character's crushes as a child into a topsy turvy . . i dont know where to go with this. The movie was better than I expected but not amazing.
In fact while Gemma Arterton is the title character I was more interested in the characters revolving around her in the little community of Ewedown. Worth the time watching as a change of pace from the standard American dramedies out there.
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