WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Tamara Drewe (Gemma Atherton) returns to her hometown with a new nose, and a new sense of self-confidence, and quickly begins turning the heads of the local men; including a married crime writer (Roger Allan), a gardener (Luke Evans) and a rock star (Dominic Cooper).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Based on the cult comic, TAMARA DREWE is a brit rom-com take off of FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, with the titular heroine being pursued by three wildly different men. It's a surprisingly lighthearted film from Stephen Frears, who's better known for stark work like THE GRIFTERS, DANGEROUS LIAISONS, and THE QUEEN. Nevertheless, he proves to be an inspired choice, with this maintaining enough cheekiness and and spunk that it really makes you wonder why American directors can't bring the same sensibility to similar product in the States.
It helps that he has Gemma Atherton in the lead, with this being a much more effective vehicle for her talents than wannabe blockbusters like CLASH OF THE TITANS and PRINCE OF PERSIA. She's charming as the slightly selfish and manipulative heroine. In other hands she might have been insufferable, but Atherton makes it work. I also must say, she looks might fetching in a pair of Daisy Dukes.
I also quite enjoyed Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper as her suitors. Cooper plays a pampered, indie-rock drummer with goofy emo hair, but stops just short of being a caricature. Evans is great as the earthier love interest, who Drewe dances around the whole film, but is inevitably the best match for her.
There's also a nice supporting role for Bill Camp as an American writer vacationing, and trying to play match-maker for Drewe, all the while pursuing Allan's wife.
The extras are limited but interesting. Starting things off, we get a fun commentary featuring Atherton and Evans. That's followed by two EPK's, a making of and Reconstruction Tamara Drewe which looks at the transition from comic to film.
Overall, TAMARA DREWE is a charming British rom-com, and a must for people that enjoy Working Title style Brit films (although this is surprisingly not one of their films). Sure, it's predictable and fluffy- but who cares? It's fun.