Steve Coogan has been asked by The Observer to tour the country's finest restaurants, but after his girlfriend backs out on him he must take his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon.
There's little wonder in the working-class lives of Bill, Eileen, and their three grown daughters. They're lonely Londoners. Nadia, a cafe waitress, places personal ads, looking for love; ... See full summary »
Two actors, as their make up is applied, talk about the size of their parts. Then into the film: Laurence Sterne's unfilmable novel, Tristram Shandy, a fictive autobiography wherein the narrator, interrupted constantly, takes the entire story to be born. The film tracks between "Shandy" and behind the scenes. Size matters: parts, egos, shoes, noses. The lead's girlfriend, with their infant son, is up from London for the night, wanting sex; interruptions are constant. Scenes are shot, re-shot, and discarded. The purpose of the project is elusive. Fathers and sons; men and women; cocks and bulls. Life is amorphous, too full and too rich to be captured in one narrative.Written by
Opening credits have (intentional) spacing issues, and mismatched fonts. See more »
Just as with "In This World," the British DVD features a 1.78:1 transfer of the film. Although the film was shot for release in theaters at 2.35:1, because it was made on DV, the total space of the filmed image was 1.78. The film was masked for theatrical release, as the director intended. However, for DVD release, the film was transferred open matte. Again, like "In This World," only the American DVD respects the theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. See more »
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy was published in the mid 1750s and can be described as postmodern before the term was invented.
The book is a ramble and regarded as unfilmable.
Enter Frank Cottrell Boyce and Michael Winterbottom. They are assisted by Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan who adapted the book as a film within a film of the book.
Anyone familiar with the BBC series The Trip, also directed by Winterbottom and starring Brydon and Coogan as versions of themselves will be acquainted with the set up.
They both tease, spar, cajole each other and do impressions.
You have scenes relating to the birth of Tristram Shandy and some of it is comical and amusing. You have a battle scene with literally tens of people and suddenly the filmmakers manage to get Gillian Anderson on board as Widow Wadman which leads to an increased budget
As the film goes on, Coogan's personal life comes under scrutiny with a newspaper hack chasing him about a kiss and tell story. Madchester TV stalwart and music mogul Tony Wilson appears as himself giving a testy interview to Coogan. Stephen Fry later drops by as a know it all.
By the latter part of the film it just fizzles out, as if the actual writer and director ran out of gas and this viewer lost interest.
Maybe there was a good reason why the novel was unfilmable.
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