The big three have a distinctly female feel this week as Drew Barrymore, Gemma Arterton and a couple of Twilighters go head to head for your hard earned cash.
Up first is long-distance rom-com Going The Distance (2/5), which stars Drew and her real-life on-off boyfriend Justin Long as a young couple whose blossoming New York relationship faces a tough test when she heads home to San Francisco to finish school. Naturally complications ensue. While this may not be exactly redefine the rom-com genre, there’s more than enough here for both sexes – Drew and Justin offer some genuine chemistry while Long’s buddies Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day provide the laughs. But it is Christina Applegate as Drew’s snippy sis who steals the show.
While Going The Distance is ok, Tamara Drewe (4/5) is breath of fresh Dorset air. Gemma Arterton stars as the Tamara of the title, an up-and-coming London journo who heads back to her rural home to sell the family pile her late Mum left her. But her reappearance causes some major ripples in the small rural idyll. Beautifully shot by Stephen Frears and boasting some of the best of British (including Roger Allam, Tamsin Grieg and Dominic Cooper), this is witty, sharp, dark and wildly entertaining and one of those rarest of things – a comic book movie than more than lives up to the source material.
And finally Twilight co-stars Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning bring us the story of rebellious ‘70s US rockers The Runaways (2/5). The pair star as founding members Joan Jett and Cherie Curie as we chart the rapid rise and ultimate fall of the all girl band – so pretty much the same as ever other rock biopic story. But let’s not dismiss things so readily – both Stewart and Fanning give decent performances and the music holds up well some 35 years after it debuted. Just how close the film is to actual events is open to question but you can sense it still has some rock and roll at its heart.