According to legend, Lady Godiva was the wife of an 11th century nobleman, who rode naked through the streets of Coventry in a successful act of protest against her husband’s taxation of his subjects. Here, in her debut feature, 21-year-old writer-director Vicky Jewson relocates the myth to the dreaming spires of contemporary Oxford for a cliché-ridden romantic melodrama.
The flame-haired Gemima Honey (Phoebe Thomas from Holby City) is a single, 20-something teacher at a private school, still grieving over the death of her brother in a motorcycle accident. Enter her Prince Charming in the form of handsome local celebrity Michael Bartle (Matthew Chambers), a horse-trainer, author and playboy, whose motto is ‘anybody can do anything.’ Love blossoms between the couple, yet will he really help Gemima revive the Art Factory, her dream project for troubled teenagers?
Jewson’s tale of wish-fulfilment can be seen as a descendant of Bridget Jones’s Diary – there’s even a scene of televised humiliation for our heroine – albeit without the star names. However, confronted with such an unconvincing and contrived script, the cast are left floundering, while the music video-style sequences where the lovers get to show off their dance moves to the likes of Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ are plain embarrassing.
Selected release from Fri 25 Jan.