Oh, The Humanity! Giddy Stratospheres

Giddy Stratospherers indexWritten, directed and starring Laura Jean Marsh, this low budget, very short British comedy set in London in 2007 is a buddy movie as two friends head out in to the streets of London to party hard, all the while everything is soundtracked by mid 2000’s indie, most of which is a reminder as to why very few cherish the music of the time, there’s the odd decent track but not many.

After some pointless running about London Lara (Laura Jean Marsh) and Daniel (Jamal Franklin) are on a train heading off to Lara’s grandmother’s funeral, going on about how drunk they are and it’s revealed that Lara doesn’t remember much of the night before, before it cuts back to the preceding twenty four hours and gives us snippets of their lives, including Laura kicking out an one night stand with the line “Thank you for your service” before she runs off to be sick, and then she phones Daniel and tells him she’s going to score some mandys, sounding like someone who has never seen any illicit substances, let alone taken any.

We also learn that Daniel’s mother disapproves of Lara, and just when you thought Lara might be the most irritating person in the world she goes to a gig and meets some even more ridiculously annoying people, including Karen, a woman who goes on about Lara owing her money and who appears bipolar, though the film just mocks this, a band then plays and lots of drugs are taken and ugh this is all so horribly poor. Then there’s a twist which could be described as audacious, but awful would be more accurate, and a sod load of pointless misery follows.

We’re presumably meant to laugh at these characters when they’re off their heads on every drug ever created but they’re all just incredibly irritating, if you met them in real life you’d take out restraining orders against each and every one of them and no judge in the land would refuse such a thing, though chances are he’d just imprison them all as they’re all fucking terrible people. Richard Herring turns up at the twenty six minute point and if you thought the acting was bad before then he takes it to an all new low, for a man who’s appeared on tv in sketch comedy and sitcoms you’d presume he’d have some skill at not seeming like someone who didn’t even know what acting is and is trying it out for the first time, but he’s truly terrible to the extent it’s hard to believe.

Almost ever character is either a cliché or a stereotype, trotting out dialogue which will make you wince to such an extent that you might fear that’s your permanent state now and you may do anything but that ever again. Marsh either overacts or under-acts depending on what’s the more annoying for that particular scene, Franklin and Nick Helm as Lara’s brother are okay but everyone else feels like they’ve only just graduated from RADA at best, and at worst have never even heard of the place.

The direction is at least fairly decent, it looks good and the manner in which the bands are filmed captures at least a minor element of how much fun live music can be. But the script is appalling and it’s a film packed with acting that would be embarrassing if seen in a school play, let alone a proper feature film. The only good thing about the whole mess is Nick Helm’s performance, but the rest is an objectionable, painful mess, and I’m struggling to think of a film that I’ve disliked more. I guess it’s not actively racist or homophobic or offensive in any way but it’s so badly written, it’s awful, awful material and not worth watching in the hope it might be fun to mock as it doesn’t even manage to be that.

1/2 Star.

Alex Finch.
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