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A gently humorous kind of experience
on 9 August 2014
Nick Hornby has had moderate success with his book-to-film adaptations, Fever Pitch and High Fidelity being the highlights. However, ‘A Long Way Down’ probably won’t be added to his list of (massive) successes. Don’t get me wrong... it’s not bad, it’s just not that memorable either.
Have you ever watched a film where you’ve popped out once, twice or even more to get a cup of tea or answered the phone? Then, when you return, you find you can totally pick up the story without any help whatsoever. Well, this is one of those films.
It starts with four people who all try to kill themselves on New Year’s Eve. They each have different problems they’re trying to escape and wind up about to jump from the same building at the same time. It’s fair to say that they don’t, as the film would be a lot shorter if they all succeeded. As they decide not to go through with it, they sort of form a surrogate family and help each other rebuilt their lives.
Granted suicide isn’t your typical basis for a light-hearted comedy, but don’t let that put you off. The ‘suicide element’ is secondary to what has happened to the characters to drive them to this situation and what transpires from there on out.
It’s amusing, but probably won’t make you laugh out loud much. The characters are as good as they’re going to be, but the film is split into four parts – each devoting a quarter of the overall runtime to one person, therefore you never truly get to know just one of them enough to really understand them.
There are films you want to watch over and over again and this probably isn’t one of them. If you’re bored, on a plane or generally stumble across it on TV late at night, it may film an hour and a half. Not one you’d really bother coming back to though.