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Funny Bones

Writer/director Chelsom's follow-up to Hear My Song throws plenty of comic ideas around, but only one or two stick. Platt stars as Tommy Fawkes, a stand-up comic overshadowed by his father (Lewis), whose Las Vegas show falls so flat he takes off to relearn his trade - in Blackpool. There he comes across Jack Parker (Evans), a natural-born comedian with a talent so pure it's positively dangerous. This paternalistic yarn inhabits a curiously nostalgic neverland where sentimental whimsy and showbiz escapism ultimately drown out acute psychological trauma. Evans is okay in his cinema debut, but his role seems to have been emasculated in large-scale cuts which play havoc with what was evidently an undeveloped script (it still runs over two hours). What any of this has to do with Oliver Reed, French smugglers and an ancient immortality drug we may never know.

Release details

Duration: 126 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Peter Chelsom
Screenwriter: Simon Fields, Peter Chelsom
Cast: Oliver Platt
Jerry Lewis
Lee Evans
Leslie Caron
Richard Griffiths
Oliver Reed
Ian McNeice
Gavin Millar
Terence Rigby