Today: April 11, 2024

Comes A Bright Day

Diamonds are pretty, aren’t they? The way they sparkle. Glimmer. The way they catch the light, reflect your dreams right back at you.

are pretty, aren’t they? The way they
sparkle. Glimmer. The way they catch the light, reflect
your dreams right back at you.

And Imogen Poots? She’s
pretty too, isn’t she? Shimmering, flawless skin. Cheekbones so
sharp you’d happily cut your wrists on them. Eyes so blue you’d
think she bleached them. An intoxicating mix of English rose and classic
Hollywood beauty.

So. We’re all agreed. Diamonds
are pretty. Imogen Poots is pretty. Let’s have a film
with diamonds and Imogen Poots in it. What a great
idea! Er…actually, no.

Sam (Submarine’s Craig Roberts)
is an ambitious, young, would-be restaurateur working as a lowly concierge in a
plush London hotel. When his gruff boss (Geoff Bell) sends
him on an errand to the upmarket jewellers where the lovely Mary (Imogen Poots)
works, he’s smitten and pretends to be a rich entertainment fixer in a
misguided attempt to impress her. Luckily, before he makes too big an arse
of himself violent, armed thugs Cameron (Kevin McKidd) and Clegg (Josef
) take him, Mary and jeweller Charlie (Timothy Spall), Mary’s
boss, hostage when the police interrupt their abortive robbery. With
the jewellers under siege and time running out for the hostages, can Sam prove
himself to Mary and win her heart?

While Comes A Bright Day’s
writer/director (and Macca’s son-in-law) Simon Aboud’s extensive
experience in commercials has obviously taught him how to shoot light
refracting through a crystal lattice of covalently bonded carbon atoms and Miss
Poots’ beauty has never been so glacially fragile, he’s obviously realised that
the whole writing lark is a bit hard, isn’t really for him and who really cares
about the script anyway when they’ve got the lovely Imogen Poots and lots of
glittery jewellery to look at.

So, rather than spend too much on the script,
he’s just cobbled together some old bollocks the night before shooting after
staying up late, drinking too much Red Bull and watching Dog Day
and a Hotel Babylon box set
back-to-back. Then he’s stuck that weird, intense, 1200-year-old
manchild from Submarine and Being Human in as
the romantic lead. And to generate a will they-won’t they frisson and
potential obstacle to true love, he’s thrown in Scottish hard-nut Kevin McKidd
as a rapey, trigger-happy mentalist with a speech
impediment. So Comes A Bright Day is your average
tale of boy meets girl, boy and girl are held hostage by lovelorn stuttering
psycho, love triumphs over all.

The performances are fine; Spall sleepwalks
through his role as wise, father-figure, Bell cuts his usual gruffness with a
welcome warmth and Poots and Roberts are a nice, if mind-bogglingly
unbelievable pairing. In what kind of sci-fi alternate universe do
those two end up together? As the stuttering, machine gun-totting
sexual threat, McKidd goes over the top like a WW1 infantryman, all guns
blazing, while Altin makes for a whiny, weaselly accomplice.

But the film lacks pace, lacks
tension. We never feel McKidd represents that big a threat to our
couple despite him senselessly shooting an innocent (if annoying) old woman in
his first scene before machine gunning a couple of bobbies in an incongruous shoot-out
that Aboud fumbles. The film’s talky without ever saying
anything. We never feel, despite the actors’ best efforts, these
characters are anything more than ciphers, that they’re in any way interested
in each others’ lives or even the situation they find themselves
in. They simply don’t ring true.

Comes A Bright Day isn’t
a bad film. It looks pretty. It looks expensive. It’s
slicker than owl sh*t on a sou’wester. There’s the occasional funny
line and you could argue that the inept robbers, Cameron and Clegg, screwing up
a simple smash’n’grab are a none-too-subtle metaphor for another pair of inept
bunglers named Cameron and Clegg busy f*cking up an entire
country. But it lacks soul, it lacks heart. With it’s TV
jazz score and blandly nice visuals, Comes A Bright Day looks
like what it is; a classy episode of Hotel Babylon. Just
with better actors. It passes the time agreeably enough but then
it’s gone. It’s like a Thai curry burp; pleasantly diverting for a
moment but quickly forgotten.

If you do decide to see Comes A Bright
however, look out for recent FilmJuice contributor Scott
. He’s one of the plain-clothes coppers outside the

David Watson

David Watson is a screenwriter, journalist and 'manny' who, depending on time of day and alcohol intake could be described as a likeable misanthrope or a carnaptious bampot. He loves about 96% of you but there's at least 4% he'd definitely eat in the event of a plane crash. Email:

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