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The One And Only (2002)

From riches to rags

Directed by:

Simon Cellan Jones

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 91 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom, France

A frighteningly bad array of accents peppers this so-so Brit-com based on ‘Den Eneste Ene’, a Danish film most noteworthy for the fact that nobody’s ever heard of it.

Richard Roxburgh takes centre stage as Neil, the Geordie kitchen-fitter in the process of being coaxed into adopting an African kiddy-wink by over-bearing partner Jenny (Aisling O’Sullivan). When Jenny unexpectedly snuffs it, Neil’s left to look after the young and hard-to-pronounce Mgala (Angel Thomas) on his own. Somehow, though, he manages to find the time to do a spot of voluntary work for the sultry Stevie (Justine Waddell), wife of a famous stereotypical Italian footballer (Jonathan Cake) and subsequent love interest.

Set in a plush, clean and perhaps even slightly poncy interpretation of modern-day Newcastle, this ill-advised exercise in blandess is aimed squarely at the ‘Cold Feet’ crowd. On more than one occasion it’s pointed out to us that Neil is warm, funny and charming, something we should really be capable of deducing for ourselves. Stevie, meanwhile, is more than a tad difficult to sympathise with. Yes, her husband ‘plays away from home’ (with Donna Air, as if it wasn’t unforgivable enough), but it’s tough to find depth in a character whose sole reason for not wanting to have a baby is that it’ll make her fat.

Then there’s this supposed football star, who for some reason runs around in an empty St. James Park pretending to celebrate scoring goals. At one point we’re told he’s considered a ‘legend’ by the supporters, which flies square in the face of earlier information telling us that he’s constantly injured, has hardly ever played a game for his club and has been nicknamed ‘Mary’ by the crowd. It’s just one example of the clumsy and inconsistent writing that blights this entire film.

It's Got: A South African and an Australian playing a couple of Geordies, alongside an Englishman playing an Italian.

It Needs: Chesney Hawkes on the soundtrack.

DVD Extras Trailer, out-takes and deleted scenes – none of which are in any way worth seeing. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Summary

Aside from a couple of chortle-worthy moments, this lifeless Tyneside dull-fest scores one own-goal too many.

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