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Modern Life Is Rubbish

  • Film
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

A low-key romcom set against a backdrop of the British jingly-jangly guitar scene, this is an indie romance in both senses.

Josh Whitehouse (a musician as well as actor) plays a rock star in waiting, a bit of a waster with anti-corporate values, which obviously have validity but via his adolescent bunghole spill out like clichéd rants. Freya Mavor plays the graphic designer he chats up in a record shop, and the ensuing shenanigans take in their relationship’s peaks and troughs. It’s a well-worn tale, and a well-worn telling.

Director Daniel Jerome Gill and writer Philip Gawthorne’s first feature is expanded from their 2009 short film of the same name, which starred Rafe Spall and was more acidic and self-aware. The long-haul is sappier, stretched and softened, fleshed out with the broadest of strokes, with little nuance and less cojones: it’s all rather unconvincing and has the faint whiff of a John Lewis ad about it.

A celebration of insipid indie rock is possibly not what the world needs right now. The film is soundtracked to the likes of The Kooks, The Vaccines and The Foals, which is quite hard to stomach. Whitehouse’s warrior is styled as a Johnny Borrell/Richard Ashcroft clone, and called Liam, just to drive the point home. It is sweet-hearted, and you might just forgive its naivety if you’re of a certain age and are happy enough with some lightweight nostalgia. Otherwise, file under queasy listening.

Written by
Alex Godfrey

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 4 May 2018
  • Duration:101 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Daniel Jerome Gill
  • Screenwriter:Philip Gawthorne
  • Cast:
    • Ian Hart
    • Freya Mavor
    • Josh Whitehouse
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