Simon Amstell is well known for cutting satirical comedy that weaves humour into a range of ordinary situations through full-bodied characters, and his debut feature film doesn’t disappoint. Benjamin (Colin Morgan) is desperate to relive the success of his first independent film, his head full of ideas, creative impulses and frustration. But Benjamin’s life is a deep ocean of anxiety and isolation as he strives to finish his second film while navigating his apprehension and insecurity. When his movie bombs spectacularly at Curzon Soho, all seems lost until Benjamin meets the French musician Noah (Phénix Brossard).
Amstell is not afraid to hold a mirror to the London art scene as he provides a cutting and hilarious dissection of the diverse communities built around gallery openings, film premieres and art installations. However, Benjamin is not just a humorous exploration of London’s creative scene but a beautifully rich romantic comedy that places gay love and all its insecurities centre stage. This is a film that shines in its realistic and tender exploration of gay relationships, demonstrating the healing power of companionship and the hard decisions relationships bring. Here Amstell explores the feelings of apprehension, fear, joy and awkwardness that come with early love. With delightful performances from Morgan and Brossard, Benjamin is an assured romantic comedy that will leave you with a massive smile through its well-crafted script and loving direction.