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Suzie Gold (2004)

When it comes to love, everything’s relative

Starring:

Ariana Fraval

Dulcie Lewis

Frances Barber

Gem Souleyman

Gwyneth Strong

Iddo Goldberg

Leo Gregory

Rachel StevensRachel Stevens

Rebecca Front

Sophie Winkleman

Stanley Townsend

Steve Furst

Summer Phoenix

Victor McGuire

Directed by:

Richard Cantor

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 94 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

Disapproving families – whether their gripe be with love (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), football (Bend it Like Beckham) or, erm, whale-riding (Whale Rider) – are seemingly all the rage these days. If you’ve seen any of the afore-mentioned films – and you can probably add ‘East is East’ to that pile as well – then you’ve effectively seen ‘Suzie Gold’, the brainchild of one-time ‘Ali G’ scribe Richard Cantor.

Summer Phoenix plays the title character, a Jewish girl living with her family in North London who, at just 23 years of age, is going through something of a premature mid-lie crisis. While her sister prepares for marriage, she’s left “on the shelf”, her best chance at coupledom coming in the form of slimy catering boy Anthony (Iddo Goldberg).

Of course, you don’t have to have seen an advance copy of the script to know that, when her Prince Charming does finally come along, there’s going to be a minor detail about him that her family just aren’t going to go for – namely, that he’s not Jewish. So she’s left to romance TV researcher bloke Darren (Leo Gregory) in secret, all the time terrified of what her frankly bigoted rellies will make of it all.

Though not unwatchable by any means, the whole thing has an ethnic-comedy-by-numbers feel to it, latching onto a formula we’ve seen used more successfully elsewhere and failing to do anything new with it. Suzie’s probs are easy to sympathise with, but she only ever comes across as a fairly nice girl who just isn’t an interesting enough character to warrant the focus of an entire movie. Phoenix plays her with a look of boredom etched permanently on her face, and with no sparky dialogue or funny situations to work with, it’s almost forgivable.

It's Got: Some great use of Spandau Ballet’s ‘Gold’, and Rachel “S Club” Stevens in brief cameo mode.

It Needs: A few scenes where the characters talk about something OTHER than being Jewish. Surely there must be some other topics of conversation that could have been thrown in there?

DVD Extras Just a trailer and a TV spot. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10

Summary

Could just as easily have been titled ‘My Big Fat Disappointing Jewish Rom-Com’ – though it might not have looked quite as good on the poster.

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