The next offering of the Vernon Film Society, Tamara Drewe, is based on a graphic novel written by Posy Simmonds, which was serialized in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
It in turn was inspired by the classic novel Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy.
Readers will recall Hardy’s novels took place in a fictionalized Dorset in Southern England. The movie takes full advantage of the same glorious countryside as it follows the story of Tamara (Gemma Arterton) on her return to her native village.
She is there to sell her late mother’s house, a re-made young woman from the village girl she was, having achieved success in London and a nose job. She is now a famous newspaper columnist and her return results in all kinds of mayhem amongst the male population.
The village is the site of a writers’ retreat run by Nicholas (Roger Allum) –– a pompous and serially unfaithful best-selling novelist. Add in boyfriend Ben (Dominic Cooper of Mamma Mia) and old boyfriend Andy Cobb (Luke Evans), now an odd-job man, plus a morose American academic, and the possibilities for fun and games are endless.
A number of reviewers have compared Arterton to a young Catherine Zeta-Jones in Darling Buds of May, another bucolic English comedy.
Two bored young teen girls have a lot to do with the troubles that ensue for everyone in Ewedown, the fictitious village, where they lurk in bus shelters and behind hedges spying on everyone.
Stephen Frears, director of The Queen and Dirty Pretty Things, has given us a welcome break from serious issues so we may enjoy a romantic romp in beautiful English countryside with characters, who though they are foolish and flawed people, are great to spend time with.
Tamara Drewe shows at Vernon’s Towne Cinema Monday at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $7, and are now available at the Bean Scene and the Towne. The theatre’s box office opens at 4:30 p.m.