Tamara Drewe

Film

Comedy drama

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Sep 7 2010

The dullness of British mainstream cinema is epitomised by this Stephen Frears – didn’t he used to be an auteur? – adaptation of  Posy Simmonds’s gently teasing 2005-2007 Guardian comic strip about rural goings-on. In the sense that you have soft porn, this is soft Brecht, a gentle, mildly amusing deconstruction of rural melodrama offering a self-amused wink at Hardy and Austen but being smiled back at by Mills and Boon.

Gemma Arterton’s tightly clad titular music journo returns to the country to inherit her family pile and set three lots of hearts and groins aflame: lecherous fiftysomething writer Nick (Roger Allam), teen-throb indie muso Ben (Dominic Cooper) and her childhood sweetheart, bare-torsoed handyman Andy (Luke Evans).

Much of the action takes place at Ewedown, the farm-turned-writers’ retreat run by Nick and his put-upon wife Beth (Tamsin Greig). Serial philanderer Nick flits to and fro, returning to host crime masterclasses to fawning admirers. All this is observed by Frears in the manner of an indulgent uncle, allowing his actors a soupçon of caricature, with detours around the charming environs to satisfy foreign audiences and homegrown admirers of ‘Midsomer Murders’ or ‘Location, Location, Location’.

The only characters who generate any interest are the terminally bored, all-seeing, sex and fanzine-obsessed teenagers (nicely played by Jessica Barden and Charlotte Christie) who comment, sneer, scheme and plot from a disused nearby bus shelter, and Boss, Ben’s unruly boxer pup, who collared the tenth anniversary ‘Palm Dog’ at last year’s Cannes.
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Release details

UK release:

2010

Duration:

109 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|48
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Geddy

A really disappointing waste of 2 hours. All the best bits were in the trailer, the rest of the film just full of tedious, self-indulgent filler from tedious characters straight out of a failed BBC1 sunday evening sitcom.

Geddy

A really disappointing waste of 2 hours. All the best bits were in the trailer, the rest of the film just full of tedious, self-indulgent filler from tedious characters straight out of a failed BBC1 sunday evening sitcom.

CharlotteC

Dumb, dumber....this film will definitely rank as one of the worst I've seen this year. Good cast, but so bad. Those 2 foul mouthed teenagers the best advertisement for abortion on film!!

CharlotteC

Dumb, dumber....this film will definitely rank as one of the worst I've seen this year. Good cast, but so bad. Those 2 foul mouthed teenagers the best advertisement for abortion on film!!

filmnerd

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, , and find Hammond's review a feckless pile self-important twaddle. As an ensemble piece, Tamara Drewe was even, engaging, and as beautiful and idyllic as it was self-deprecating and cringe-riddled. Fantastic performances across the board, and a plot that was both gentle, and dark with it's humour. It doesn't offer up side-splitting laughs, and it's satire is not exactly razor sharp, but on both viewings, the cinema has had a steady stream of chuckles, snorts and cackles throughout.

filmnerd

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, , and find Hammond's review a feckless pile self-important twaddle. As an ensemble piece, Tamara Drewe was even, engaging, and as beautiful and idyllic as it was self-deprecating and cringe-riddled. Fantastic performances across the board, and a plot that was both gentle, and dark with it's humour. It doesn't offer up side-splitting laughs, and it's satire is not exactly razor sharp, but on both viewings, the cinema has had a steady stream of chuckles, snorts and cackles throughout.

Mark

Both Johns: Hmmmm ... there are a few flaws in your arguments. While film funding money is being spent and not repaid to the film council, that money is not being spent on more worthwhile causes. Sorry, but that's not rocket science - for reviewers who have decried the opinions of other audience reviewers, you don't seem particularly bright yourselves. I remember the UK Film Council stumping up a shed load of money for terrible films like Sex Lives of the Potato Men - something tells me that was money down the drain. It's not surprising Tamara Drew is from the same funding stable. Following Liz's reference to the 'hollow' review (source not specified), I think she's referring to the Telegraph's review - or at least that's what Google turned up first time. The Torygraph/blue rinse brigade think it's worth 2 stars. However, just as you've come up with an enthusiastic review from Rotten Green Tomatoes, John, equally telling in the Google list is the review from Obsessed With Film - "Tamara Drewe: “Frears weakest and most disposable film of his whole career�. Guys, there are two issues here: Anyone should be able to post here without being taunted for their opinions (and on this page those opinions seem to reflect that of Time Out who also gave TD two stars); and for every rave review there's bound to be someone who's not as keen. Personally, I didn't think this film was good, and this 'page' seems a fair reflection of that and the abilities of those involved. It's reasonable to forewarn other cinema goers of a poor quality film - especially at up to £18 a seat in the West End.

Mark

Both Johns: Hmmmm ... there are a few flaws in your arguments. While film funding money is being spent and not repaid to the film council, that money is not being spent on more worthwhile causes. Sorry, but that's not rocket science - for reviewers who have decried the opinions of other audience reviewers, you don't seem particularly bright yourselves. I remember the UK Film Council stumping up a shed load of money for terrible films like Sex Lives of the Potato Men - something tells me that was money down the drain. It's not surprising Tamara Drew is from the same funding stable. Following Liz's reference to the 'hollow' review (source not specified), I think she's referring to the Telegraph's review - or at least that's what Google turned up first time. The Torygraph/blue rinse brigade think it's worth 2 stars. However, just as you've come up with an enthusiastic review from Rotten Green Tomatoes, John, equally telling in the Google list is the review from Obsessed With Film - "Tamara Drewe: “Frears weakest and most disposable film of his whole career�. Guys, there are two issues here: Anyone should be able to post here without being taunted for their opinions (and on this page those opinions seem to reflect that of Time Out who also gave TD two stars); and for every rave review there's bound to be someone who's not as keen. Personally, I didn't think this film was good, and this 'page' seems a fair reflection of that and the abilities of those involved. It's reasonable to forewarn other cinema goers of a poor quality film - especially at up to £18 a seat in the West End.

John Cooper

So that readers aren't fooled by statistics, Liz is wrong when she implies that Tamara Drewe wasn't well received critically . . . just check out Rotten Tomatoes where it gets quite good ratings. . . . Remember that many critics's responses to this film are based on vested interests and political positioning rather than on the merits of the film itself. Many reviewers have disgruntled colleagues who are envious of access to funding and will attempted to downgrade a film reasons of spite and self-interest. Tamara Drewe is intelligent entertainment, and superior in artistic accomplishment to many ` indie` films given overrated reviews by critics with friends in the `getting money for movies` business.

John Cooper

So that readers aren't fooled by statistics, Liz is wrong when she implies that Tamara Drewe wasn't well received critically . . . just check out Rotten Tomatoes where it gets quite good ratings. . . . Remember that many critics's responses to this film are based on vested interests and political positioning rather than on the merits of the film itself. Many reviewers have disgruntled colleagues who are envious of access to funding and will attempted to downgrade a film reasons of spite and self-interest. Tamara Drewe is intelligent entertainment, and superior in artistic accomplishment to many ` indie` films given overrated reviews by critics with friends in the `getting money for movies` business.

Liz

Deary me, "John P" ... you're coming across as one of those angry, defensive marketing department types who trawl this site raving about one and two star movies. Shame you're unwilling to accept other people on this page have valid points to make about this film. This film gets one star from me. It was rated consistently low amongst all main UK film critics. Tamara Drewe is "hollow", as one of those critics put it. Is it any coincidence this film was produced by the very recently abolished UK Film Council? I don't think so. There are far more worthy causes for UK Lottery funding to support than a one star movie like this, and with government spending cuts now just round the corner, I'd far rather a genuine charity benefited from that funding than Stephen Frears' pocket.

Liz

Deary me, "John P" ... you're coming across as one of those angry, defensive marketing department types who trawl this site raving about one and two star movies. Shame you're unwilling to accept other people on this page have valid points to make about this film. This film gets one star from me. It was rated consistently low amongst all main UK film critics. Tamara Drewe is "hollow", as one of those critics put it. Is it any coincidence this film was produced by the very recently abolished UK Film Council? I don't think so. There are far more worthy causes for UK Lottery funding to support than a one star movie like this, and with government spending cuts now just round the corner, I'd far rather a genuine charity benefited from that funding than Stephen Frears' pocket.

John P

I must agree with Yossi.. i notice from a film encycleopedia that most of the great films in the past ( ones much enjoyed and attended by the masses) were slagged off by the critics/pundits. Tamara seemed faithful to the original cartoon (which in its time I also thoroughly enjoyed) . it sends up the sort of pretentiousness exhibited by some of its critics here. certtainly good value for £5.00 or so.. I would say to the seemingly pompous "lighten up eh ?"

John P

I must agree with Yossi.. i notice from a film encycleopedia that most of the great films in the past ( ones much enjoyed and attended by the masses) were slagged off by the critics/pundits. Tamara seemed faithful to the original cartoon (which in its time I also thoroughly enjoyed) . it sends up the sort of pretentiousness exhibited by some of its critics here. certtainly good value for £5.00 or so.. I would say to the seemingly pompous "lighten up eh ?"

Jude

Truly awful film, in fact so bad we left half-way through!!! The story line was non existent as it was so weak and the language was just terrible. After reading such good reviews our Mum treated both my sister and myself to an afternoon at the pictures. We were so disappointed. We were lead to believe it was 'The funniest film of the year'!!! Now thats a joke!! We heard no-one laughing at the film for the time we were there. Still can't believe Gemma Arterton took the part. Only gave it one star as zero star would be treated as unrated!!! Dont waste your money!!!

Jude

Truly awful film, in fact so bad we left half-way through!!! The story line was non existent as it was so weak and the language was just terrible. After reading such good reviews our Mum treated both my sister and myself to an afternoon at the pictures. We were so disappointed. We were lead to believe it was 'The funniest film of the year'!!! Now thats a joke!! We heard no-one laughing at the film for the time we were there. Still can't believe Gemma Arterton took the part. Only gave it one star as zero star would be treated as unrated!!! Dont waste your money!!!

BusyMan

This film trashes a good story and a small fortune of BBC and British Film Council money ie taxpayers cash. I found the two underage schoolgirls swearing their way through the film and dreaming of bedding the obnoxious rock musian immoral and insulting. The film is pretty but the language and characters are not.

BusyMan

This film trashes a good story and a small fortune of BBC and British Film Council money ie taxpayers cash. I found the two underage schoolgirls swearing their way through the film and dreaming of bedding the obnoxious rock musian immoral and insulting. The film is pretty but the language and characters are not.

GS

What a load of rubish! Lousy, shallow, extremely dull and dreary. Waste of time!

GS

What a load of rubish! Lousy, shallow, extremely dull and dreary. Waste of time!

tut_tut_stephen

To quote the front page of Time Out's film section this week, "The dullness of British mainstream cinema is epitomised by this latest from Stephen Frears". This film is dull - very dulll. I only went because Frears used to make good films. If anyone's seen "Cheri", and the desperately bad "Mrs Henderson Presents" then you're in for more of the same awfulness with "Tamara Drewe". A shame - "Dangerous Liaisons" was superb. Why is he now reduced to turning out rubbish like this? As someone else said below, spend the money on a decent bottle of wine.

tut_tut_stephen

To quote the front page of Time Out's film section this week, "The dullness of British mainstream cinema is epitomised by this latest from Stephen Frears". This film is dull - very dulll. I only went because Frears used to make good films. If anyone's seen "Cheri", and the desperately bad "Mrs Henderson Presents" then you're in for more of the same awfulness with "Tamara Drewe". A shame - "Dangerous Liaisons" was superb. Why is he now reduced to turning out rubbish like this? As someone else said below, spend the money on a decent bottle of wine.

Yossi

The film is a cartoon, just like the original - get it! It is a brilliant and extremely funny crack at pretentious middle class wankers who are up themselves, like some of the ‘in crowd’ making comments here. Script, acting and direction were great. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Notamused - you really thought the script was written by a Daily Sport or a News of the World journalist. What a pathetic bit of innacurate sneering.Do you really think that Hollywod(sic) would do this story with class? Are you for real? Tamara Who? As I said on another thread, when you were calling yourself Martin French, anyone who writes ‘ I feel like moving to a foreign country etc’ is hardly in a position to criticise anyone else for using clichés. By the way Isabella dear - it was rated 15 not 18 - sorry to spoil the story.

Yossi

The film is a cartoon, just like the original - get it! It is a brilliant and extremely funny crack at pretentious middle class wankers who are up themselves, like some of the ‘in crowd’ making comments here. Script, acting and direction were great. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Notamused - you really thought the script was written by a Daily Sport or a News of the World journalist. What a pathetic bit of innacurate sneering.Do you really think that Hollywod(sic) would do this story with class? Are you for real? Tamara Who? As I said on another thread, when you were calling yourself Martin French, anyone who writes ‘ I feel like moving to a foreign country etc’ is hardly in a position to criticise anyone else for using clichés. By the way Isabella dear - it was rated 15 not 18 - sorry to spoil the story.

samtheman

Get a grip Paul. If the film's so much about Greig and Allam's characters, how come the film and all the publicity focuses on Arterton, including a profile by Time Out, and every poster and snippet of puff press? The story's about a young woman who stirs the desires of three men. Were you paying attention, Paul, or snoozing? I'm with Mike and the others, this film leaves a hulluva lot to be desired. Good to see Arterton's invested her recent royalties in some acting lessons – it’s definitely less wooden than it used to be. On the upside, the thirty of us in the audience laughed once - when Greig's character punched Arterton in the face - it's otherwise hard to see how this film could be described as funny.

samtheman

Get a grip Paul. If the film's so much about Greig and Allam's characters, how come the film and all the publicity focuses on Arterton, including a profile by Time Out, and every poster and snippet of puff press? The story's about a young woman who stirs the desires of three men. Were you paying attention, Paul, or snoozing? I'm with Mike and the others, this film leaves a hulluva lot to be desired. Good to see Arterton's invested her recent royalties in some acting lessons – it’s definitely less wooden than it used to be. On the upside, the thirty of us in the audience laughed once - when Greig's character punched Arterton in the face - it's otherwise hard to see how this film could be described as funny.

Mike

This is how I imagine the conversation went between Gemma Arterton and her agent when discussing the film Tamara Drewe: . Agent: “Darling, I’ve got just the thing for you.� GA: “Really?� Agent: “Yes, it’s called ‘Tamara Drewe’ - poor script, full of clichés. Just your sort of thing.� GA: “Well, I won’t take it unless I can read my lines in a leaden fashion from a large board just slightly off-camera – like I did in ‘Clash of the Titans’� Agent: “You’ll never guess what!� GA: “What?� Agent: “They’ve promised you can have another really bad wig – worse than the ones in ‘Quantum of Solace’, ‘Clash of the Titans’ and ‘Disappearance of Alice Creed’ all put together!� GA: “Oh, yummy, count me in.� Agent: “By the way, I’ve got another film in the pipeline for you … it involves wearing a merkin - on your head.� GA: “I’ll take it, I’ll take it.� . This film is clichéd drivel. 1 star clichéd drivel. Don’t waste your money.

Mike

This is how I imagine the conversation went between Gemma Arterton and her agent when discussing the film Tamara Drewe: . Agent: “Darling, I’ve got just the thing for you.� GA: “Really?� Agent: “Yes, it’s called ‘Tamara Drewe’ - poor script, full of clichés. Just your sort of thing.� GA: “Well, I won’t take it unless I can read my lines in a leaden fashion from a large board just slightly off-camera – like I did in ‘Clash of the Titans’� Agent: “You’ll never guess what!� GA: “What?� Agent: “They’ve promised you can have another really bad wig – worse than the ones in ‘Quantum of Solace’, ‘Clash of the Titans’ and ‘Disappearance of Alice Creed’ all put together!� GA: “Oh, yummy, count me in.� Agent: “By the way, I’ve got another film in the pipeline for you … it involves wearing a merkin - on your head.� GA: “I’ll take it, I’ll take it.� . This film is clichéd drivel. 1 star clichéd drivel. Don’t waste your money.

Martin French

It really was dreadful. I blame it all on Four Weddings and a Funeral. Ever since, hopeful British film makers have been pumping out quaint rom coms full of caricatures rather than characters, and with an American part tossed in, on the off chance the film gains traction in the States, which is obviously the target audience. The result is a load of tosh like this. It never gets anywhere near the US, and us Brits have to sit through a load of drivel full of cliched sentimental cartoon characters. Then we have to read endless bleating that the tax payer be subsidising British films to keep the industry alive. If this is the result, then it can drop dead. Praise goes to Time Out for not being blinded with patriotism and calling this one right. Hopefully it will help shake out some decent creativity from our talented isle.

Martin French

It really was dreadful. I blame it all on Four Weddings and a Funeral. Ever since, hopeful British film makers have been pumping out quaint rom coms full of caricatures rather than characters, and with an American part tossed in, on the off chance the film gains traction in the States, which is obviously the target audience. The result is a load of tosh like this. It never gets anywhere near the US, and us Brits have to sit through a load of drivel full of cliched sentimental cartoon characters. Then we have to read endless bleating that the tax payer be subsidising British films to keep the industry alive. If this is the result, then it can drop dead. Praise goes to Time Out for not being blinded with patriotism and calling this one right. Hopefully it will help shake out some decent creativity from our talented isle.

Tamara Who?!

Truly awful! I feel like moving to a foreign country for all the awful clichés. British film making should be ashamed of itself for churning out this middle of the road piece of 'art'. Poor acting and script, spend your money on a nice bottle of red and your dvd collection at home!

Tamara Who?!

Truly awful! I feel like moving to a foreign country for all the awful clichés. British film making should be ashamed of itself for churning out this middle of the road piece of 'art'. Poor acting and script, spend your money on a nice bottle of red and your dvd collection at home!

Tennisace

Tamara Drew was very disappointing so don't bother with it. There was so much bad language with silly characters and plot. It is appalling that the BBC and Film Council helped to make this film, yet they are supposed to uphold quality! The story is based on a great piece of literature, Thomas Hardy's Far From The Maddening Crowd, but they dumbed it down and vulgarised it, all with millions of taxpayers money.

Tennisace

Tamara Drew was very disappointing so don't bother with it. There was so much bad language with silly characters and plot. It is appalling that the BBC and Film Council helped to make this film, yet they are supposed to uphold quality! The story is based on a great piece of literature, Thomas Hardy's Far From The Maddening Crowd, but they dumbed it down and vulgarised it, all with millions of taxpayers money.

Paul

The audience laughed a lot when I saw TD and this is a loyal adaptation of Simmond's comic/graphic book of the same name (except the expletives) . It really comes down to whether or not you like Simmond's Guardian comicstrip view and imagery on middle class life - Aga, 4WD, Cath Kidson and organic food. Same film idea as Scott Pilgrim or Kick Ass surely? I enjoyed film for what it was and it is worth seeing for the teenage girl's hilarious double act.

Paul

The audience laughed a lot when I saw TD and this is a loyal adaptation of Simmond's comic/graphic book of the same name (except the expletives) . It really comes down to whether or not you like Simmond's Guardian comicstrip view and imagery on middle class life - Aga, 4WD, Cath Kidson and organic food. Same film idea as Scott Pilgrim or Kick Ass surely? I enjoyed film for what it was and it is worth seeing for the teenage girl's hilarious double act.

Jeff

"If this is a rom-com, kill the director" lyrics from the song 'Kill the Director' by the wombats. Funny how that song played over and over in mind throughout this terrible piece of sh*t. The worst film I've seen in the cinema for a very long time. Every single character is an overblown farcical caricature. How this ever got made is a complete mystery. A truly awful piece of film-making.

Jeff

"If this is a rom-com, kill the director" lyrics from the song 'Kill the Director' by the wombats. Funny how that song played over and over in mind throughout this terrible piece of sh*t. The worst film I've seen in the cinema for a very long time. Every single character is an overblown farcical caricature. How this ever got made is a complete mystery. A truly awful piece of film-making.

Notamused

Poor. Beautifully filmed countryside but shame about all the swearing and the vulgar, cliche ridden, simplistic script. It has British photography at it's best but plot, script and characters from a naughty pantomine. I thought the script was written by a Daily Sport or a News of the World journalist. The film was produced by the BBC and the British Film Council. The BFC has been rightfully scrapped by the government and the BBC should be stopped from producing so many trite films. Let Hollywod do this story with class. An expensive waste of millions of taxpayers money. The BBC produces so many good arts documentaries so how they can produce this tabloid nonsense? Avoid this film.

Notamused

Poor. Beautifully filmed countryside but shame about all the swearing and the vulgar, cliche ridden, simplistic script. It has British photography at it's best but plot, script and characters from a naughty pantomine. I thought the script was written by a Daily Sport or a News of the World journalist. The film was produced by the BBC and the British Film Council. The BFC has been rightfully scrapped by the government and the BBC should be stopped from producing so many trite films. Let Hollywod do this story with class. An expensive waste of millions of taxpayers money. The BBC produces so many good arts documentaries so how they can produce this tabloid nonsense? Avoid this film.

scrumpyjack

Un-necessary (ott) crudity mar the required tone for this piece. I was somewhat preocupied with the thought "whose turn is it to swear next? shame. Plus side, I enjoyed it despite that, the stories fine and cast good (except Dominic Cooper) it looks rather pleasant too. 6/10

scrumpyjack

Un-necessary (ott) crudity mar the required tone for this piece. I was somewhat preocupied with the thought "whose turn is it to swear next? shame. Plus side, I enjoyed it despite that, the stories fine and cast good (except Dominic Cooper) it looks rather pleasant too. 6/10

isabella

Me and my mum went to see it,, 3 days after the release, as we handed the tickets to the man, he asked me how old i was, i said 18 but he couldnt believe me because i was smaller than my age group because i was born premeturely,, but apart from that,, the film wasnt the best and wasnt as good as the blind side and shrek, i wouldnt reccomend it,

isabella

Me and my mum went to see it,, 3 days after the release, as we handed the tickets to the man, he asked me how old i was, i said 18 but he couldnt believe me because i was smaller than my age group because i was born premeturely,, but apart from that,, the film wasnt the best and wasnt as good as the blind side and shrek, i wouldnt reccomend it,

Andi

Agree with Paul Murphy - wtf? yes Tamara Drew is 'light entertainment' but it is light entertainment with a bit of bite, subtlety and depth, and way better than the godawful 'droopings that Ricahrd Curtis and the rest of the British comedy establishment have been turning into feature films for god knows how long. This is a good, enjoyable film...no, it's not Brecht, never claimed to be...and how this review can leave out mentioning Bill Camp and Tamsin Grieg (who gives her best performance in anything to date) I just don't know!

Andi

Agree with Paul Murphy - wtf? yes Tamara Drew is 'light entertainment' but it is light entertainment with a bit of bite, subtlety and depth, and way better than the godawful 'droopings that Ricahrd Curtis and the rest of the British comedy establishment have been turning into feature films for god knows how long. This is a good, enjoyable film...no, it's not Brecht, never claimed to be...and how this review can leave out mentioning Bill Camp and Tamsin Grieg (who gives her best performance in anything to date) I just don't know!

Paul Murphy

A soupcon of caricature? The Guardianista literary middle classes were perfectly observed comic portraits, as were the shallow indie drummer and the pitch-perfect teenagers, having the audience guffawing throughout the film. Did we see the same film? Didn't Wally Hammond used to be a a sharp film critic? Well done Stephen & Posy.

Paul Murphy

A soupcon of caricature? The Guardianista literary middle classes were perfectly observed comic portraits, as were the shallow indie drummer and the pitch-perfect teenagers, having the audience guffawing throughout the film. Did we see the same film? Didn't Wally Hammond used to be a a sharp film critic? Well done Stephen & Posy.