Juliet, Naked – Film Review by Frank L.
Director: Jesse Peretz
Writers: Evgenia Peretz (screenplay by), Jim Taylor (screenplay by)
Stars: Chris O’Dowd, Rose Byrne, Kitty O’Beirne
A cute but dull English seaside town is where Annie Platt (Rose Byrne) is going to seed, as she runs the local museum which her deceased father established. She has managed to find an apparently hip male partner in Duncan Thomson (Chris O’Dowd) but looks can deceive and he is unfortunately obsessed with a long forgotten American pop star Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). In a series of coincidences, Annie gets to meet Tucker and Duncan realises his idol is very different from what he had imagined. Of course, the inevitable eternal triangle comes into play with Tucker’s past relationships adding to the complexity.
While as a character Duncan is a pain, O’Dowd’s performance captures his annoying obsessiveness to the proverbial tee. Byrne is a delight to watch as she tries to lever herself out of the monotonous clutches of Duncan and start to negotiate the beginnings of a new life. Hawke is splendid as the washed-up former rock star who is still game for romance even if he has a uniquely large amount of family baggage in the not too distant background, which includes a delightful young son Jackson who is convincingly played by Azhy Robertson.
The film is based on the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby. While Duncan’s sheer two-dimensional narrowness will infuriate the viewer more quickly than it does Annie, this is a joyous piece of cinema. It has many delightful moments and some well drawn character parts to add to the overall colour. It is a well executed, enjoyable piece of fun.