Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Keeping Mum (2006)

Toothless and timid excuse for a black comedy from Britain, where the dark laughs are usually effective. This film, though, is working on the same sort of genteel level as Saving Grace and Calendar Girls, where any taboo material is sweetened and pounded out into a bland, sticky paste that is perfect for consumption by little old ladies and soccer moms but leaves us with a taste for grittier fare wanting. Maggie Smith is quite good as the murderous granny whose presence revitalizes a dysfunctional British family, but she's about all the film has going for it. (Well, okay, Tamsin Egerton's beautiful breasts have their charms as well.) None of the gags pay off in any meaningful way, save for maybe a mild chuckle here and there, and the narrative's eleventh-hour swerve into life lessons and warm fuzzies is lame as all get-out. Turning serial murder, voyeurism and infidelity into ostensibly-charming laff material is something of a dubious achievement, methinks; basically, this is the tea-and-crumpets version of Visitor Q, which was itself a gloss on Teorema, and you'd be better off watching either of those significantly more passionate works of art.

Grade: C


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