Kids in Love
EIFF 2016: Will Poulter and Cara Delevingne feature in this obnoxiously plummy debut
Wish fulfilment fantasy is a valid undertaking for cinema, and no-one wants every movie to be a lesson in moral correctness. Still, it’s always worth scrutinising the wishes being fulfilled, and taking account of unsettling messages – that beauty trumps character, say, or that inherited wealth merits more admiration than working for a living.
Mapping the unsettling ethical landscape of this plummy British debut from Chris Foggin is nice-but-dull London school-leaver Jack (Will Poulter), who’s planning a pre-university jaunt to South America before starting the law internship that Daddy has arranged. But wait! Here comes French beauty Evelyn (Alma Jodorowsky) to lure our lad into a netherworld of languid toffs and consequence-free hedonism.
That’s right: so dripping with privilege is this film that gap years and internships are the less posh options, while the opportunity to do a degree is presented as an awful chore. Well, who wants the slog of getting on a plane to find yourself, or reading books and stuff, when you could loll on a distressed chaise longue in Notting Hill pondering what kind of artist you are?
Amid this boho clique – which includes a Cassius, a Milo and a Viola (Cara Delevingne), and entertains itself with such japes as suddenly remembering it has an unoccupied country house and a vintage Rolls in which to get there – Jack is led a merry dance by Evelyn, who makes up in sultry glances and exposed thighs what she lacks in values.
Ultimately, the film seems unsure whether it wants to reveal a darker underside to all this ditzy dazzle, or just roll around in it; but either way, its ultra-posh milieu and brashly entitled characters are liable to grate on viewers whose own romantic and career dilemmas come with less plush padding. There’s escapism, and then there’s promoting vanity, self-interest and idleness like they’re enviable lifestyle choices.
Screening on Wed 22 and Fri 24 Jun as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Selected release from Fri 26 Aug.