I watched the film Tamara Drewe a week ago and was surprised to find that I enjoyed it. During the film I found myself laughing out loud a few times. It was mostly because of how it represented writers in the film. It alluded to the writing process and how writers work.
Adapted from the original Posy Simmonds comic strip series, the film was directed by Stephen Frears and the screenplay written by Moira Buffini.
Tamara Drewe is a very funny film, an adroitly observed satire on sexual mores, the pretensions of literary folk and country life that combines rural rumpy-pumpy with an ending of grand-guignol horror that gives lie to the notion of the countryside as tranquil arcadia.Posh Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) returns to her hometown set in rural middle-class Dorset countryside and stirs up drama at the nearby farm that functions as a writer’s retreat.
The farm is run by Beth (Tamsin Greig) who tirelessly caters for her best-selling author husband Nicholas (Roger Allam) who prides himself of churning out ten pages every day. In the film he says ‘The real secret to being a writer is knowing how to lie.’ In the film he is both a liar and a cheat.
It is the character Glen (Bill Camp), an American writer, that made me chuckle when he complains about having writer’s block comparing it to being constipated. Later when his writing is flowing he gets excited and compares it to having just passed a big massive stool. I can’t remember the exact words he used but it was funny. At one point, Glen says ‘my kind of books aren’t about sales’ and you get a table full of writers chatting about self-publishing. And of course, Glen is writing about Thomas Hardy alluding to the fact that Simmonds’ comic strip series is based on Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd.
Whatever the merits or flaws of the film, there were some really good lines in it.
The film ends with Nicholas’s view that all writers are thieves and liars. That’s a bit harsh. As writers, we do steal from life and we do make things up. But don’t all artists? Doesn’t everyone?
What did I think of the film?
I enjoyed it mostly because of the references to writers and writing. The most likeable character I found was Glen – though by the end of the film I wasn’t sure. Tamara Drewe has been compared to Bridget Jones and I’m sorry but you can’t compare the two. Bridget Jones was an extremely likeable character – Tamara Drewe not so much.
Have a great weekend.
Have you seen the film?
What did you think of how it represented writers and the writing process?
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