Unemployed Robert Martin (Lee Evans) is desperate to improve the life of his family and enters competition after competition in the hope of winning them the money they need to make a new start. But as the competitions never come through for him, Robert eventually takes matters into his own hands and steals tickets for a family holiday in the Isle of Man. The Martins embark on their travels excited about the prospects the holiday holds for them, but Robert's wife Angie (Kathy Burke) then finds out about one of his past indiscretions and the atmosphere sours very quickly indeed.
is a very dark, but also very funny tale of the urban underclass in modern Britain. Lee Evans is Robert Martin, an unemployed dreamer who tries to provide for his family the only way he knows how--by entering every competition he can. When the prize of a holiday is snatched away from him he embarks on a Falling Down
-style wave of retribution, first on the local newspaper, then his son's school and finally the middle-class suburban couple who have "stolen" his prize. As he's shown in films such as Funny Bones
and There's Something About Mary
, Evans is an accomplished actor as well as a physical comedian, but the real revelation here is Kathy Burke, who imbues her character with a warm emotion and pathos as well as exhibiting the deftness of comic touch that we have come to expect from her. The simple but effective plot loses its way on a couple of occasions, but where the film really succeeds is in giving depth to a collection of characters who, while they may appear quite repulsive on the surface, are in reality just as human as the rest of us. Although it's worlds away from glib Hollywood feel-good comedy, in the end The Martins
does suggest that a little glimmer of hope can go a long way, something that makes this particular film all the more endearing. --Phil Udell
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.