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Gypsy Woman (2001)

Fall under her spell

Directed by:

Sheree Folkson

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 84 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

Leon (Jack Davenport) isn’t exactly alone in his slightly narrow-minded view of gypsy folk. Like many people, he sees them as carnival-working peg-salesmen who spend their days leaping from dodgem to dodgem, bare-knuckle boxing and placing strange hexes on all right-minded types who try to stop them from tapping a free electricity supply out of the nearest pylon.

‘Gypsy Woman’ isn’t exactly the sort of film that’s interested in putting to bed any such myths surrounding Romany culture. It DOES feature man-giant Nick “Little John” Brimble as a champion camp-site boxer, it DOES include a scene where Leon’s love interest Natalie (Neve McIntosh) steals a stallion’s horse-juice in order to impregnate her mare and, strangely, most of the other travellers to feature in the film look more like gnomes than gypsies.

Thankfully, this is a decent film regardless of all that stuff. It’s a simple romantic tale of a lawyer who meets – and promptly develops the hots for – a gypsy lady who he’s supposed to be talking into taking a pay-off as compensation for her hubby’s recent death. Of course, as it turns out, she’s not particularly interested in paperwork, and is more intent on leading her increasingly-exasperated admirer a merry dance around the relentlessly picturesque English countryside.

It’s not exactly the most original film ever made, but for my money it’s better than its straight-to-DVD status would suggest. Davenport, who’s reasonably well-known for his small-screen work in ‘This Life’ and ‘Coupling’ and later went on to appear in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, produces a solid comic performance and makes for a likable lead despite his character’s initial small-mindedness. McIntosh seems a little lacking in enthusiasm for her role, but Davenport’s performance and the charm of the story in general just about make up for it.

Don’t go near it if you’ve got a chip on your shoulder over stereotypes, but if you’re after a nice, mildly humorous British rom-com, you could do much, much worse.

It's Got: Some far-fetched rural police brutality. It was never like that in ‘Heartbeat’!

It Needs: David Essex riding a bareback pony along a poorly-tarred driveway.

DVD Extras No extras here – I can only assume some gypsies must have stolen them and hidden them inside an old waltzer. DVD Extras Rating: 0/10

Summary

If you like your soft-hearted comedy served with a neckerchief and some lucky white heather, you’ll love ‘Gypsy Woman’.

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