The first in Channel 4's First Love telemovie series (unwisely given a theatrical release after being seen on TV), this has its roots in the boyhood memories of writer Jack Rosenthal. We're back in postwar England, an age of unbounded optimism buoyed by the prospect of peace and the promises of a Labour government. Our schoolboy hero, 'Quack Quack' Duckworth (Albasiny) has only two ambitions: to score the winning run for England in a test match against Australia, and to kiss a girl in his class (the enchanting Cruttenden). Such is the flimsy premise of this all-too-easily nostalgic movie, whose production values and period detail are overstated to the point of cliché. Apted's direction is precise but unremarkable, and though Rosenthal's script triggers some long-buried memories, like classroom catchwords (hence the title) and furtive fumblings towards sexual awareness, it's an empty film that leaves you with little besides a Heinz soup glow.
Cast and crew