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Scenes of a Sexual Nature

  • Film

Time Out says

It’s a busy day for Heat on the Heath. There’s Andrew Lincoln, caught red-handed by his wife as he ogles the knickers of a sunbathing French girl straight out of a Timotei ad; there’s Eileen Atkins and Benjamin Whitrow, reminiscing wistfully on a bench and sating the Derby and Joan vote; there’s Ewan McGregor, at the male pond, debating commitment issues with his boyfriend, Douglas Hodge, before sloping off for a quickie in a bush with a stranger; and there’s Tom Hardy, flirting with Sophie Okonedo and attempting the most ludicrous of ‘street’ accents. Clichés abound. Love is blind, and so is Gina McKee's date with stuffed-shirt bookseller Hugh Bonneville. Money can’t buy you love, and so Mark Strong’s not on to a winner by paying Polly Walker to spend time with him. Love hurts, and guess what? Okonedo’s crying.

The production history of this series of sketches, which take place during a summer’s day on Hampstead Heath, is only slightly more interesting than the film itself, which is whimsical, pompous and annoying. Ballsy first-time director Ed Blum persuaded a bunch of game name-actors, from McGregor to Okonedo, to lend him one or two days of their time in return for a little cash and a part in a movie which wants to have the last word on modern romance. Writer Aschlin Ditta (‘No Angels’) completed his job just two weeks before production, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. His script leads us from one couple to another, from the bathing pond to Kenwood House, and while he avoids the wildly coincidental plotting that so often marks multi-strand, we-are-the-world yarns such as this, his diluted narrative allows for no development of characters beyond cheap gags and quick pay-offs. At least the cast could walk to work.
Written by Dave Calhoun
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