After maturing from ‘Kidulthood’ to ‘Adulthood’, urban British cinema is regressing. ‘18.104.22.168’ signalled a turn towards lighter popcorn fare, and now we get a ‘The Inbetweeners’-style romp written and directed by Femi Oyeniran, an actor who’s appeared in all those films. This riches-to-rags story follows nerdy Shawn, who has secretly quit his elite school so he can go to the local comp with the cool kids. Shawn is taught the local language (peng, nang, man dem, boy dem), but when this fails to impress the fit girls he rocks out his dad’s Lotus, which he promptly smashes. To cover the costs, he sets up a fake charity to raise funds for a girl with leukaemia (called ‘Save a Buffting’).
It’s a formulaic plot, fusing the ‘parents on holiday’ premise and the ‘deceit, reveal, disappointment, forgiveness’ structure of a rom-com. The acting is televisual, and there is a subplot involving an East End drug dealer that belongs to another film. There are a few laughs, but they’re overshadowed by the heavy-handed moral lessons and jokes about BO.