Rupert Graves stars in Andrew Davies' adaptation of Kingsley Amis' novel centring on life just before the sexual revolution of the Sixties. Beautiful young teacher Jenny Bunn (Sienna Guillory) makes quite an impression when she arrives in town ready to begin a new job at the local school. Her landlord Dick, housemate Anna and posh friend Julian, all find themselves falling for her; but it is handome young Patrick Standish (Graves) who tries the hardest, even as Jenny remains determined to avoid his advances. Set in the summer of 1959, 'Take a Girl Like You' features a classic jazz soundtrack including music by Jimmy Giuffre, Gerry Mulligan, Coleman Hawkins, and Lou Donaldson.
Kingsley Amis's poignantly comic novel Take a Girl Like You
is here brilliantly adapted for television by Andrew Davies. In the 1950s, a young northern girl arrives to become a primary school teacher in a stifling home-counties town. Even as she steps off the train and makes her way through the streets to her boarding house, she exudes waves of untainted sexuality that become an immediate target for the frustrations and libidos of the men in her wake. What follows is a rites of passage tale for both Jenny Bunn, the girl, and Patrick Standish, the young Lothario who pursues her, wins her and, as his final sad voiceover reveals, ultimately loses her.
Sienna Guillem blossoms as Jenny, perplexed by and finally resigned to her own allure. The magnificent cast also includes Robert Daws as the porcine boarding house landlord and Emma Chambers spitting acid barbs as his permanently disappointed wife Martha. Rupert Graves adds Patrick Standish to his repertoire of flawed, attractive young men. In one key scene, he encounters a winning cameo from Leslie Phillips as an ageing roué, and it's as if he's caught a glimpse of himself 40 years down the line. Take a Girl Like You is BBC drama at its finest. --Piers Ford