Don't do it.

Film Annoying old films you wished you'd forgotten don't get forgotten. They just get rereleased with a new title and using someone elses marketing ideas. Last year some time in an idle (and misguided moment) I sat through a really, really poor romantic drama called Londinium (2001) about a group of slightly self obsessed people in the capital of England (or y'know like whatever). The film featured people like with people like Colin Firth and Irene Jacob and was directed by on Mike Binder who clearly thought he was the next Woody Allen and like Allen cast himself in the film as the American. I'd recorded it one night over Christmas about three years ago because I quite liked the title and Irene Jacob who seems to have an inability to age. In fact she looked the same age here as she did in Three Colours Red fifteen years before.

It begins badly with some fairly obvious voiceovering and just heads downhill on a rocket pack with scenes that go on far too long, inconsistent plotting and performances so dislocated it's almost as though they are being provided in the same way that I believe some animated film voiceovers are recorded now, with the actors showing up when they have the time. It's a luscious looking film, so as always seems to be the way with these things, looks pretty but has nothing to say for itself. I somehow managed to get through to the end, largely to see what Jack Dee and Stephen Fry would be like -- and in fact they were the best value of all. Like all bad films I put it to the back of my mind, pretended it didn't happen and moved on with my life. Then tonight I saw this...

Since I'm analysing Love Actually for my dissertation I was quick to note the similarity of the fonts and the colour scheme and everything ... and that terrible new title which makes the film seem even worse than it probaby is if that's at all possible. If I was one of the Love Actually marketing people I'd be a little bit annoyed. I know that borrowing is a form of flattery but this is pretty ridiculous. Unless this was cooked up by the same people -- in which case shame on them for reusing what was such a prominent campaign and style. Here's a reminder...

Note that there's a quote that actually says "In the tradition of Notting Hill & Four Weddings". Here's a warning. Forget it. Even if you quite like the romantic doodlings of Mr Curtis and Colin Firth. Here's what the featured reviewer at the IMDb has to say:
"Londinium is a terrible, terrible film. Mike Binder thinks he is a Woody Allen for the millennium. He is not. Woody Allen's Bergmanesque films are funnier than this film.

London is one of the greatest cities in the world, but you wouldn't get that if your only frame of reference was this film. It is a slur on its great name, and the writer/ director should never be allowed back within its walls as long as he lives.

All the people involved should be ashamed for being in this film. Particularly Stephen Fry and Jack Dee, two men who are very funny indeed and should know the difference between a comedy script and the steaming pile of effluent that masqueraded as a script for this film.

Really, don't do it. If you have to rent a romantic comedy about an American in London, get Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Lawrence instead. I know that's not well like either but at least it features one of Ray Winstone's best performances...

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