Woolley's reference points here are British TV soap serials like Coronation Street and Crossroads, contemporary British politics of class, and the school of 'deconstructed' narrative film-making in which Woolley has situated himself. Dealing with the life of two typical households, one middle and the other working class, Telling Tales attempts a breakdown of the inventory of clichés of which much of filmic language consists. It's often very funny and revealing, as in the use of sound effects early on in the film, and in the use of deliberately banal dialogue foregrounded by Woolley's deadpan use of actors moving in and out of the camera frame. Sometimes it's less effective: where the actors are required to be more emotional, for instance. But there is no escaping the film's value as an implicit criticism of the humourlessness of most current work in this area.