Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
A Hybrid Comedy/Romance/Heist That Struggles To Balance An Effective Tone Despite A Great Cast
on October 30, 2012
I was pretty excited to have discovered the British comedy/romance/heist film "Comes A Bright Day" by Simon Aboud. With an appealing cast and an unorthodox set-up, the film has limitless potential. I thought I would absolutely love this quirky film as its ideas and themes really struck my interest. But, alas, there's something a bit off in the telling. In many ways, I thought the screenplay tried to cover too many bases and the film's tone is ever-shifting. It's not really a comedy, it's not particularly a romance, it's not quite believable as an action endeavor, and it falls a bit short as a character study. It is simultaneously all of these things and none of them! I well and truly hate when people say "I really wanted to like" something--but, in this case, I really wanted to like "Comes A Bright Day." And yet, it never really connected with me in any tangible way. The situations never merge well and the characters speak in philosophical pontification, so the end result left me feeling a bit cool and uninvolved.
The film has a terrific cast including Craig Roberts (from the underrated Submarine), the lovely Imogen Poots, Kevin McKidd and the great Timothy Spall. Roberts plays a luxury hotel employee with big dreams of success. On a menial errand, he stumbles upon the charming Poots who happens to work in a jeweler's shop that he needs to visit. Playing the big shot, however, to impress the lady doesn't go off as planned when armed marauders (including McKidd and a quite funny Josef Altin) stage a robbery. Roberts, Poots, and Spall (the proprietor) are soon trapped in a hostage situation. With glimpses of unexpected violence, strange madness, and dark humor, the rest of the movie unfolds as a chamber piece of sorts as the characters debate their lives and the nature of humanity. The dialogue definitely feels scripted, though, with none of the revelations feeling organic or real in any way. And this was the primary disconnect for me. I thought the set-up was interesting, but the characters never felt remotely believable. And the film wanders a bit with scenes outside of the heist that include the police, Roberts' best friend as well as his boss. I also didn't feel that these interludes integrated well with the main action.
The odd Roberts, though, is always a fascinating actor. And I would watch Spall in just about anything. The movie, in no way, is objectionable or disastrous. It was easy enough to watch and enjoy, I suppose, it just didn't fulfill the promise that I think it might have had. It just needed more focus. While I like films that are different, "Comes A Bright Day" played in too many genres without fully committing to any. McKidd, who I love, feels particularly stranded. Sometimes the movie wants to be dark, sometimes funny, but it is its reach to be meaningful that makes the tone gone awry. An interesting film, it simply isn't one that I can imagine revisiting anytime to rewatch. KGHarris, 10/12.