Genre: Comedy, Drama
Directed by: Anthony Wilcox
Starring: Charlie Cox, Annabelle Wallis, Jodie Whittaker, Antonia Thomas
Despite being advertised as a comedy, Hello Carter isn’t quite sure what genre it should be. At times it feels like a rom-com, at others it’s a crime caper, but rarely does it hit the right comedy notes.
Life isn’t going well for down-on-his-luck Carter (Charlie Cox), who has recently become single, homeless and unemployed. In a desperate bid to win back his ex-girlfriend, he goes off on an adventure through London in order to to find her, picking up some strange helpers along the way.
It’s fair to say that the basic premise of a wild goose chase around London is a bit fanciful and some of the coincidences a little too unlikely in this day and age. All these happenstances are interspersed with good ole British humour but it’s often so cringe-worthy that it fails to be funny; the jokes are embarrassingly deadpan.
Worse than the deadpan humour, however, is just how predictable an affair the plot is. After just ten minutes, the end is quite obvious but it’s not just the ending you can guess, it’s every plot point leading up to it.
Whilst Charlie Cox puts in a good performance, it’s all very bland and safe. Carter is neither unlikeable nor lovable, and it would’ve been interesting to see a more volatile or erratic lead character. On the plus side, there are a lot of other good performances to be found in the film. Whenever Jodie Whittaker’s Jenny appears, the film instantly has more edge – perhaps it should have been more ‘Hello Jenny’ over Carter.
What the film lacks in punch, it makes up for with Anthony Wilcox’s subtle direction. On a low budget, it was great to see London looking so divine. Wilcox captures the capital with grittiness but also love and care. His love for London is clear to see but he also grasps that feeling of loneliness that can come from city life.
Hello Carter has the capacity to be charming, subtle and funny. It’s a gentle film by nature and that’s part of its appeal, but these positives just highlight what’s lacking from the story. Anthony Wilcox is a talented technician but his script is in desperate need of a rewrite. Hello Carter has some great moments, but overall it’s weaker than Carter’s ability to go through life without a female companion.
Hello Carter is in cinemas 5 December and out on DVD 8 December