Starter for 10 My Reviews 21 SEP 2008

Starter for 10It is 1985 and the quiet but obsessive general knowledge collector, Brian Jackson has finally realised his dream of being accepted in university for the almost sole purpose of participating in and winning the popular TV general knowledge game show, University Challenge… and to make something of his life and in so doing pull himself out of his working class roots of course.

His misadventures at Bristol University starts from day one as he is taking a little time to adjust to the new freedoms and excesses that university life brings with it, but his quest to join the campus quiz team is still on and he soon finds himself in a little more bother than what he’d counted on when he starts to fall for his glamorous teammate Alice who seems to have a bit of a penchant for only attracting the bad boys around her.

However there’s always the revolutionary radical Rebecca to keep him on his toes and Brian soon finds himself caught up between the usual girl troubles as well as between his new life at university with all its challenges and norms and his old working-class life back home in the little seaside town of Southend-on-sea.

Starter for 10 is a 2006 period, romantic comedy set in 1985 based on David Nicholls’ novel, Starter for Ten. It is directed by Tom Vaughan (who went on to direct the successful What Happens in Vegas…), produced by Tom Hanks and features James McAvoy, Alice Eve and Rebecca Hall in the lead roles.

Starter for 10 is an interesting and fairly enjoyable story to watch, thanks in most part to the foppish James McAvoy performance which you can’t help but find likeable as well as the British spin on what otherwise might have been a fairly bland and dull American romantic comedy.

The story doesn’t fit neatly into any particularly genre that we are used to and at best it is a mix of comedy, drama and a little romance though in honesty it never really gets particularly heavy in any one of these directions, instead presenting a nice, palatable mix of the three which ends up giving us a nice, bittersweet movie that is enjoyable to sit through and provides a decent night’s entertainment.

So if you want something that looks, sounds and feels a little different to your standard American fare, then this British-made romantic comedy drama may just be the ticket for you.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.