Every once in awhile there is a “romantic comedy” that even the coldest of hearts will begrudgingly admit is entertaining. Whether it’s “The Devil Wears Prada” or “Love Actually,” these flicks usually win admirers across the board. It’s unclear how much of a dent it can make in the U.S. marketplace, but the delightful “Tamara Drewe” comfortably fits among those favorites.
Opening in limited release in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, “Tamara Drewe” is directed by Stephen Frears (“The Queen”) and features standout performances by Gemma Arterton (“Clash of the Titans”), Dominic Cooper (“Mamma Mia”), Tamsin Greig, Luke Evans (the upcoming “The Immortals”) and the always droll Roger Allam (“Speed Racer”). Based on the newspaper comic strip and eventual graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, “Tamara” follows the humorous and dramatic turns that occur when a formerly unattractive young woman returns to her hometown (the fictional countryside village of Ewedown, England) transformed into a sexy, stylish and successful London newspaper columnist. To be blunt, not everyone is thrilled with her success and for numerous reasons.
This exclusive clip wonderfully sets up the dynamics of Tamara’s impact on the town and the ensemble cast. Her neighbors, Nicolas and Beth (Greig and Allam), run a writer’s retreat which currently has a neurotic American, Glen (Bill Camp), amongst others, in their midst. This sequence begins with Nicolas and Beth bickering with their daughter over how “desperate” Tamara Drew is and then transitions to a work break featuring Glen and Tamara. Glen has offered to help Tamara clean out the rubbish from her house which she is intent on selling after the death of her mother, but he can’t resist some sly flirting with the overachiever.
You can enjoy the clip embedded in this post and read more about the film from my Telluride review. Look for interviews with the cast of “Tamara Drewe” later this week on Awards Campaign.