Directed: Stephen Frears (‘The Queen”’,‘Dangerous Liaisons’, and ‘High Fidelity’)
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Luke Evans, Roger Allam, and Tamsin Greig
A bright and bouncy comedy set in rural England and based on the comic strip come novel by Posy Simmonds. The movie has the disjointed, episodic feel of a serialized story condensed into a feature film. Ugly duckling, Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) grew up in a Dorset village and was memorable only for her wicked humour and large nose. As a teenager she fled to London and ten years later is back to sort out family affairs. Tamara is now a successful rock journalist and after cosmetic surgery to her proboscis, stunningly attractive. She hires an old flame and beefcake, Andy Cobb (Luke Evans) to renovate her home. Meantime the antenna of local aging lothario and crime novelist Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam) is alerted to a new skirt in town. He lives with his wife Beth (Tamsin Greig), who runs a retreat for writer called Stonefield Farm. Nicholas catches the eye of Ms Drew but the story takes a turn when Tamara meets and falls for rock drummer Ben Sergeant (Dominic Cooper) who is being stalked by two local groups Jody (Jessica Barden) and Casey (Charlotte Christie). When Tamara becomes engaged to Ben things turn nasty. Academic Glen McCreavy (Bill Camp) is one of the guests at Stonefield trying to write a thesis on Thomas Hardy. He suspends his writing as he becomes more intrigued with the ongoing passion plays of Stonefield. What happens? Well you will need to go and see Tamara Drew and be amused.