Jack & Sarah Review – A bubbly, boring romcom

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My love for Richard E. Grant means that if I want a solid, leading role performance in a movie I’ve yet to see, I have to traverse into the depths of the late 1990s. Sifting through meaningless drama, objectively terrible romcoms and the occasional bit-part elsewhere to keep his acting profile alive. But surprises are around every corner, by which I mean I was in a charity shop and found a copy of this, Jack and Sarah. It’s everything I had expected, and less.

Grant’s leading man material is stretched to its very limit here, playing Jack, a man that has gained a baby but lost his wife. The film follows the struggles of single parenthood, but from the father’s perspective. A few scenes throughout show this difficulty, and it’s probably the only unique part of the script.

It’s more evident as the movie goes on that the cast is by far the biggest selling point. Alongside Grant is a pre-Bond Judi Dench and a pre-X-Men Ian McKellen. It’s a sight for sore eyes, they’re both incredible supporting characters throughout. If anything it revitalised Dench’s career which is a lucky break if anything else; her performance here is good, but weak when compared to her other outputs as a performer.

Director Tim Sullivan does a moderate enough job of bringing this script to life, in a sort of weird Frankenstein’s monster style way. It’s definitely moving, but has it got a brain, or even a heart? Jack & Sarah doesn’t really have all that much going for it, and for such a lengthy runtime it sure as hell runs out of things to do by the half hour mark. Up until then, it was going moderately well, the charms of Grant were well suited for the film, but then Samantha Mathis is thrown into the mix and it’s downhill from there. Instead of a solid enough look at grief, it becomes yet another romcom that uses grief as merely a backdrop, and nothing else.

I really wanted to like this movie, but it has all the wrong sort of tropes and it ends up being rather boring. Grant at times feels like he’s chewing the scenery, other times he delivers some fantastic work. It’s too unstable to really balance it properly, and because of that leads to a resoundingly dull movie that has rightly been forgotten about.


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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Jack & Sarah
Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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