Reviewer's Rating 1 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
The One and Only (2003)

It's grim up north in this feeble romantic comedy, a love letter to Newcastle that, if nothing else, will be remembered for some of the worst accents ever heard in a British picture.

First there's Aussie actor Richard Roxburgh ("Moulin Rouge") taking a doomed stab at a Geordie brogue in his role as Neil - a kitchen fitter who is saddled with a five-year-old orphan from Burkina Faso after his neurotic wife (O'Sullivan) is killed in a car accident.

Then there's Jonathan Cake's Sonny, a ghastly parody of an Italian footballer with an accent that even Paolo di Canio would have trouble deciphering.

Last but not least there is Cake's pregnant English wife Stevie (Waddell), who appears to have fetched up in Gateshead by way of Somerset.

Based on the 1999 Danish film "Den Eneste Ene", Simon Cellan Jones's misguided film has Stevie turning to Neil when her soccer star hubby begins playing away from home with a dumb blonde (Air, typecast).

Clearly they belong together, so screenwriter Peter Flannery is forced to add all manner of unlikely plot developments to keep his lovebirds apart until the final reel.

Cellan Jones previously worked with Flannery on the 1996 TV mini-series Our Friends in the North.

But where that was a landmark TV production notable for introducing us to the likes of Daniel Craig and Gina McKee, this is little more than a dull addition to an overstocked genre that seems more concerned with showcasing Tyneside's landmarks than making its paper-thin story credible.

End Credits

Director: Simon Cellan Jones

Writer: Peter Flannery

Stars: Richard Roxburgh, Justine Waddell, Jonathan Cake, Patsy Kensit, Aisling O'Sullivan, Donna Air

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Length: 91 minutes

Cinema: 21 February 2003

Country: UK

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