Based on a novel by University of Bristol undergraduate David Nicholls, Starter for Ten, a dark romantic tale, is set in 1985 when working-class quiz-show fanatic Brian begins his studies.
The film stars Shameless graduate James McAvoy, most recently seen as Mr Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia.
Contributor Kevin Stanley sent us this review:
University life isn’t as easy as Brian (James McAvoy) had hoped. Making it onto the University Challenge team proves harder than expected, but at least he lost his place by helping his new crush - the smart and sexy Alice (Alice Eve).
Brian comes from a working class family in Essex. Inexperienced and hardly a ladies man he’s about to be eaten alive by the well-to-do and vivacious Alice.
|James McAvoy was in BBC drama Macbeth|
But shouldn’t he really be with the spirited and ethically-principled Rebecca (Rebecca Hall)?
McAvoy, even at 27, convinces as a young man of 18, whilst Eve and Hall are never less than charming and show the acting skills to deal with a range of emotions and situations.
In its most intimate moments, Starter For Ten echoes the John Hughes movie Pretty In Pink.
Also set in the mid 80s David Nicholls has adapted his own novel for the screenplay and managed to put together a fantastic contemporary soundtrack featuring The Cure and The Psychedelic Furs.
Starter For Ten drops its protagonist into the middle of a love-triangle and says “make your choice” knowing that his first reaction will always be the wrong one and that he’ll have to crawl over broken glass to win over the girl that he should have chosen from the beginning.
But it’s the journey that Brian has to take that compels, he’s made some bad choices, he’s lost his head on occasion, but he’s working at it and putting in the effort.
He’s come to realise that life isn’t about knowing the right answer, but asking the right questions.