Lady Godiva (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner23/01/2008

One out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

An appallingly written, badly directed mess that is frequently painful to watch, despite the best efforts of lead actress Phoebe Thomas.

What's it all about?
Phoebe Thomas (from Holby City) stars as Jemima Honey, an attractive, flame-haired young schoolteacher who's trying to restart the creative arts centre she set up with her dead brother. When she meets charming playboy Matthew Bartle (Matthew Chambers, from Doctors), romantic shenanigans ensue and she somehow ends up accepting his bet that she won't ride through the city of Oxford on horseback, naked.

The Bad
21-year-old writer-director certainly deserves points for getting her film this far but it would have been a much better success story if the film was actually any good. For one thing, the script is all over the place and the bet itself doesn't even make sense - it would have been much better if an evil character with an interest in seeing her humiliate herself had made the bet, rather than someone who a) is in love with her and b) has the money to save her arts centre.

However, the script's atrocities don't stop there - it also throws in a Prince William lookalike (presumably because there was one available) playing Prince William and a ridiculous, under-developed sub-plot about the rivalry between two of Jemima's students that seems to be all about repressed homosexuality.

The Worst
Jewson's direction is shockingly bad in places, which doesn't help the already poorly thought-out plot - several scenes either seem out of place or bear no relation to previous scenes. Also, only Thomas and Chambers seem capable of giving a competent performance.

However, Jewson's biggest mistake is that by including a historical flashback to the "real" Lady Godiva - also played by Phoebe Thomas - at the beginning, she blows the film's money shot (the actress, naked, on horseback) within the first five minutes, robbing the inevitable climax of any dramatic impact it might have had.

Worth seeing?
Lady Godiva is an embarrassing disaster on almost every level. Here's hoping Jewson takes the hint and puts herself through film school before she tries again.

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Content updated: 15/07/2018 23:59

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