out of Five
Running time: 75
A low-key but engaging relationship drama, Honeymooner is light on plot but strong on character, thanks to a sharply observed script and superb performances from Kearns, Coghill and Weaver.
What's it all about?
Directed by Col Spector (who made the equally low-key Someone Else), Honeymooner stars Shameless' Gerard Kearns as Fran Goldman, a twenty-something man who's dumped by his fiancée (Lisa Faulkner) on the eve of their wedding and spends what should have been his honeymoon moping around Kentish Town, seeking advice from his best friends, Ben (Chris Coghill) and Jon (Al Weaver). Unfortunately, Ben and Jon both have relationship problems of their own, though that doesn't stop them getting into a series of scrapes while ostensibly trying to help Fran move on and find a new love interest.
The performances are excellent: Kearns makes an engagingly hangdog lead - even if he is a bit of a moaner - and there's strong support from Coghill (who was paedo Tony in EastEnders and does his typecasting prospects no favours here by bedding a 17 year-old) as well as a scene-stealing, hilarious turn from Al Weaver as Jon, who's constantly worried about his cholesterol. There's also colourful support from Daisy Haggard (as Ben's long-suffering girlfriend Jess) and Montserrat Roig de Puig, who's very funny as Fran's horny Spanish neighbour Celine (just why he turns her down is, frankly, a mystery).
The dialogue is both realistic and frequently funny, while Spector makes strong use of his authentic London locations, rain and all. There are also several excellent scenes, with highlights including: Fran and and Jon thinking they've pulled, only to discover that the girls think they're a gay couple; an amusing scene at a Rabbinical dinner (if the Rabbi looks familiar it's because he's played by the original TV Adrian Mole Simon Schatzberger); and a disastrous blind date.
The main problem with the film is that nothing much really happens, though at least it avoids all the usual clichés, and it's safe to say the film doesn't end the way you think it's going to and that in itself is a refreshing novelty. It's also just as well that the film only lasts for 75 minutes, because Fran basically spends the entire running time moaning and you start to lose sympathy for him towards the end, particularly after he rejects Celine.
Honeymooner is an enjoyable, well written British drama with some perceptive observations about modern-day relationships nestled in amongst the low-key comedy shenanigans. Worth seeing.