Friday 28 May 2010 (The List, Issue 657)

The shadow of Quentin Tarantino looms large over Noel ‘Adulthood’ Clarke’s ambitious second film, in which four girls (Emma Roberts, Tamsin Egerton, Ophelia Lovibond and Shanika Warren-Markland) have the weekend from hell. Clarke and his co-director Mark Davis aim admirably high, pushing against British drama traditions, telling interconnected stories with a cast of oddball characters spouting quirky dialogue via a narrative that playfully keeps reality at arms length. But while the resulting mash-up of conflicting tones and styles is entertaining and features moments of bizarre inspiration, is ultimately less than the sum of its parts.

The set-up is promising – the girls’ parallel stories play out one after another, with the film rewinding to the same initial point after each one – but Clarke’s script is undisciplined, overflowing with ideas and not focused into a coherent and meaningful whole. A constant stream of attention-grabbing cameos adds to the patched-together feel, and the more dramatic story elements aren’t developed enough to hold much weight. The four actresses are great though, and their strong performances do a lot to carry the film through its weaker moments. Ophelia Lovibond (pictured) is particularly impressive.

3/5 is released on 2nd June. This review first published in The List magazine.

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