"this isn’t a simple comedy, it’s a punch in the gut and I can imagine some might be taken by surprise"
Anna (Jodie Whittaker, who also produces the film and gave a short impassioned speech in video form just before the screening) is rapidly approaching thirty and living in a shed in her mother's garden where she spends the majority of her free time making weird little films by drawing faces on her thumbs for all the characters. She’s maturity challenged and doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to change, a situation that isn’t helped by a distinct lack of stable influences in her life what with her emotionally unavailable mother, seemingly sex obsessed grandmother, free spirited best friend and the sweet but obviously somewhere on the edge of the autistic spectrum Brendan who pines after her.
But there’s something deeper going on, a level of emotional damage she hasn’t fully dealt with that I won’t spoil here but is revealed fairly early in the film, and when she is repeatedly forced to interact with a neighbour whose mum is in the hospital and reportedly not long for this world, she’s slowly forced to be the grown up she desperately wants to avoid becoming.
The comedy aesthetic of the film is a little misleading, whilst it has it’s moment it’s far more of an emotional rollercoaster than a comedic romp and the end may well break you so be ready for the ride. Anna could be described as aggressively quirky but it manages to just about avoid becoming annoying largely because of the excellent performances by the entire cast, all of whom are a little unstable in their own way so you can easily sympathise with Anna as she never comes across as a burden on those around her, even her long-suffering mother.
There’s not too much more I can say, the film is so well put together there’s no fat to trim or imperfections to criticise. It’s not perfect, few things are, it can be a little heavy and with so many offbeat characters none of whom seem to know how to do the right thing it can be a little frustrating, but it’s never overwhelming.
As I say there’s a deeper story here that I don’t want to spoil and has been avoided in much of the advertising but I do think you should be aware of it, this isn’t a simple comedy, it’s a punch in the gut and I can imagine some might be taken by surprise. Personally I really liked it and can recommend this to anyone looking for a bit of oddball humour with a powerful core of truth.