Tamara Drewe

2011-08-05 10:24
What it's about:

A young journalist called Tamara Drewe, arrives in the pastoral English town of Eudown to sell her family home. Her arrival has the town buzzing and sets in motion a chain of events that result in tangled love affairs, illicit liaisons and the uncovering of a host of saucy secrets. Based on Posy Simmonds' graphic novel (which was itself inspired by Thomas Hardy's classic, Far From the Madding Crowd).

What we thought:

Although Tamara Drewe is more Jane Austen than Thomas Hardy, the quirky British comedy manages to generate a spark that is all its own. Witty, spirited and original, Tamara Drewe is a thoroughly enjoyable modern-day comedy of manners that investigates and pokes fun at grand notions of love, passion and people’s pasts.

Tamara herself is perfectly portrayed by the sultry Gemma Arteton who manages to capture the character’s quick mind as well as her sizzling sex appeal. After getting what must certainly be the most successful nose job in history, Tamara is transformed from a bookish ugly duckling into a devastating beauty, able to not only wield but fully understand the power of beauty. So when the new Tamara arrives in her old hometown, one and all are floored by her radiance. In one scene she casually climbs over a fence in ridiculously short denim hot pants in front of a party of onlookers that can hardly hide their fascination. In one moment, Tamara metaphorically announces her arrival and her neighbours form their lasting first impressions.

She is, of course, then met by a host of characters from her youth that steadily filtrate back into her life. Most notable of these are Andy – her teenage lover and now the hot local handyman – and Nicolas Hardiman, a famous novelist and infamous sleazebag who along with his domestic goddess wife Beth – runs a writers' retreat on the idyllic town farmlands.

Things seem peachy until Tamara drags home a new rocker boyfriend (played by Dominic Cooper) causing general chaos and hilarity to ensue. Everyone in the town – including a pair of bored and brazen teenage girls – can’t keep their minds or eyes off Tamara and the new arrival, and soon everyone and everything is whipped into a frenzy as infatuations, sexual flirtations and illicit liaisons turn the once tranquil town firmly on its head.

Quick, punchy dialogue and honest performances turn the whole cast of this obscure little film into stars. Yet, Tamsin Greig as the soft-hearted, yet determined country housewife and Dominic Cooper as the cocky indie rocker really take the cake in terms of spot-on delivery.

Tamara Drewe is not a perfect film, but it is fun, light and satisfyingly silly in a classic British comedy sort of way.

Tamara Drewe sports some top-notch British comedy, despite being a bit on the silly side.
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