Rita Sue and Bob Too
Time Out saysTrading as ribald comedy, this film reflects a cruel and widespread reality, yet maintains an unnerving distance from its own implications. Neighbours on the rough side of a run-down Bradford estate, Rita and Sue (Finneran and Holmes, grittily authentic) are best buddies nearing school-leaving age. They babysit for nouveau riche sleazeball Bob (Costigan) and his wife Michelle (Sharp), whose disaffection with sex becomes her husband's justification for getting it any which way he can - one way being on the reclining front seat of his flash car, taking Rita and Sue, incredibly, in quick succession. It's all fun and games until Michelle finds out: Rita becomes pregnant, moves in with Bob, and has a miscarriage; and Sue opts for a haphazard shack-up with a bully of an Asian boy. Thereafter director Clarke's keenly observed 'naff' character nuances, never a comfortable laugh, really begin to stick in the throat, and his persistent rib-tickling in the face of the girls' desperation provokes a moral dilemma which the ludicrous 'Carry On Coupling' finale simply aggravates. Humour in the worst possible taste.