It’s December 12th and, if my understanding of current events is in any way accurate, then I believe there is a general election happening in the UK today. I don’t think too many people are feeling very optimistic about the outcome of that election.
Hopefully we won’t all feel the need to throw ourselves off a building tomorrow though.
And if that seems like a fairly clumsy way to deal with mental health and suicidal feelings then it’s no more clumsy than 2014’s A long Way Down.
Which is the movie behind door number 12 of The Third Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films.
Like yesterday’s entry, About A Boy, this movie is based on a novel by Nick Hornby. However, wheras About A Boy is a really good film, A Long Way Down is not. Which is a shame, because I remember really enjoying the book. It’s probably not Hornby’s best work and maybe the material never really lent itself to adaptation for the screen, but it still deserved better than this.
The cast is decent enough. Pierce Brosnan feels a little miscast, but Toni Collette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots all do their best with what little material they have to work with. It is, however, to little avail.
Such is the reverence that I have for Nick Hornby that I really wanted this to be good.
But it isn’t.
Score for Christmasishness
There’s more of a ‘New Year’s Eve’ vibe to this rather than any explicit references to Christmas. The film opens on December 31st, at a time when things have hit rock-bottom for the four main protagonists, and conclude on the same date the following year when (spoiler alert!) things are a bit better. The majority of the action takes place in the six weeks which immediately follow the Christmas period, rather than during the festive season, but we do spend a lot of time getting to know the protagonists on that first New Year’s Eve, so there are lots of Christmas decorations and the like in the early scenes. Plus New Year is very much part of the whole Christmas experience so this still counts as a bit Christmas(ish). Which still doesn’t make it a good film sadly.