All In Good Time (12A)

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Review byMatthew Turner11/05/2012

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 94 mins

Disappointing, overly familiar comedy that's low on laughs and ultimately falls down thanks to a lack of focus and a failure to address a couple of glaringly obvious logic problems.

What's it all about?
Directed by Nigel Cole, All in Good Time is adapted from screenwriter Ayub Khan-Din’s 2007 play Rafta, Rafta, which was in turn adapted from the 1963 Bill Naughton play All in Good Time (itself filmed as The Family Way in 1966). Set in present day Bolton, Lancashire, the film stars Reece Ritchie and Amara Karan as newlyweds Atul and Vina, who for some unexplained reason, decide to have their wedding night in Atul's bedroom in the house owned by his blustering, undermining father Eeshwar (Harish Patel) and long-suffering mother Lopa (Meera Syal).

Needless to say, the wedding night doesn't go exactly as tradition dictates and the pair suffer a further blow the following morning when their honeymoon is cancelled, meaning that they have to stay with Atul's parents indefinitely, leaving them unable to consummate the marriage. And when word of Atul's “problem” gets around their local community, everyone starts offering advice or generally sticking their noses in, which only makes things worse.

The Good
The central performances are fine, particularly Harish Patel, though the supporting characters are ill-defined and all rather blur into one, Greek chorus-style. Similarly, Cole disguises the play's stage origins well, despite the fact that the action is largely confined to Atul's house.

The Bad
The main problem is that none of this seems remotely original and the script fails to exploit its generational conflict in any meaningfully emotional sense, to the point where a seemingly important central plot point is almost completely buried instead of being the focus of dramatic and tearful confrontation; if that was the point, then it's a point that's likely to be missed.

On top of that, films like this instantly fall apart if the audience can quickly find solutions that aren't addressed in the film and that's certainly the case here: for example, all of Atul and Vina's problems could be instantly solved if they just rented a hotel room for the night (something that's never even suggested) or even took Vina's parents up on their offer of living with them instead. It's also ridiculous to ask the audience to believe that, having lived there all his life, with his parents in the next room, Atul had never heard his parents having sex before, or his father's snoring, or his father's noisy bathroom routine, all things he apparently discovers for the first time in the film.

Worth seeing?
All in Good Time is a disappointing, painfully unfunny comedy that fails to engage on an emotional level and is ultimately undone by presenting the sort of easily solved problems that are likely to have audiences shouting at the screen in frustration.

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All In Good Time (12A)
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Content updated: 26/09/2015 09:26

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