In fairness to the filmmakers, this watchable but shaky indie romcom was shot on a shoestring (£12,500) in just five days. Craig Roberts (‘Submarine’) and Charlotte Ritchie play Benny and Jolene, a meek folk duo thrown into an unglamorous round of excruciating daytime TV appearances after a sudden brush with chart success. The pair embark on a shambolic road trip to a Welsh festival with their inept manager, clueless PR and Jolene’s mum in tow, lurching from one fiasco to another until Benny’s crush on Jolene brings tensions to a head in a soggy campsite.
Jamie Adams’ directorial debut hovers somewhere between mockumentary and mumblecore, relying on the actors to come up with the goods in mostly improvised scenes. They have the collective talent to keep the slight premise afloat, doing a heroic job of sending comic flares up, only to see them arc mournfully back to earth. Given more time, this might have come closer to a ‘Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee’ style caper. As it is, ‘Benny & Jolene’ was probably much more of a hoot to make than it is to watch.