Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Movies

‘Sometimes Always Never’ (review)

Produced by Sol Papadopoulos,
Alan Latham, Roy Boulter

Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Directed by Carl Hunter
Starring Bill Nighy, Sam Riley, Alice Lowe,
Jenny Agutter, Tim McInnerny,
Louis Healy, Ella-Grace Gregoire

 

Sometimes Always Never is a solid title for this very enjoyable movie.

Unfortunately, it is being released within months of the very similarly named critical darling, Never Rarely Sometimes Always.

This film is a nicely modulated comedy/drama that explores the dysfunctional relationship between a tailor (the always-great Billy Nighy) and his adult son, played with just the right amount of exasperation and nearly-depleted patience by Sam Riley.

The two are initially brought together to identify the body of Riley’s brother, who disappeared after storming out of the family home after a heated game of Scrabble.

Or, to be exact, “Scrobble”.

One of Riley’s frustrations with his dad that still bothers him is that he and his brother, Michael, always had to make do with cheap knock-offs that his single parent pop would foist upon them. For example, a crummy Scrabble clone dubbed “Scrobble” with flimsy cardboard tiles.

It turns out that the body in question is not the Prodigal Son, so the mystery lingers on.

In the meantime, Nighy has insinuated himself into the lives of Riley and his wife and teenage son, sleeping on the latter’s bottom bunk and commandeering his laptop, playing word games for much of his stay.

At one point, while going head-to-head online with a player with the handle Skinny Thesauras, Nighy begins to suspect that he’s found his long-lost son.

The acting is aces across the board here. Tim McInnerny (Notting Hill) and still-lovely Jenny Agutter (An American Werewolf in London) are perfection as a couple who’ve lost their passion. Louis Healy feels utterly real as a typical male teenager, the wonderful Alice Rowe (Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace) is a joy as Riley’s wife, who loves to affectionately embarrass her son in front of his crush, the luminous and appealing Ella-Grace Gregoire (who, luckily for Healy, finds Rowe’s antics and his awkward reactions endearing).

I love that the movie finds small moments to cherish as well, such as when a diner waitress tells Riley her favorite word: soap, popping the “p” like a bubble.

Charming bits like the above and really, the overall tone bring to mind the best work of whimsical filmmakers such as Bill Forsyth (Comfort and Joy) and Gillian Armstrong (Starstruck).

A particularly satisfying wrap-up as the icing on the cake, Sometimes Always Never is sweet, charming and moving.

Sometimes Always Never is now available On Demand.

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like

Columns/Features

Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet Animated Series Announced Kevin Smith has signed on to develop a Green Hornet animated series for WildBrain. The family-friendly series...

Animation

Produced by Ron Cicero, Kevin Klauber Written and Directed by Ron Cicero & Kimo Easterwood Featuring John K., Bob Camp, Vincent Waller, Billy West,...

Movies

Produced by James Nightingale Written and Directed by Heath Davis Starring Alan Dukes, Susan Prior, Rose Riley, Airlie Dodds, Steve Bastoni, Pippa Grandison, Steve...

Movies

Five fascinating tales from the iconic DC canon, including the first interactive film presentation in Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) history, come to animated...