Simon Amstell is well known for his cutting satirical comedy. While weaving humour into ordinary situations that embody a love for his characters and their locations. With his debut feature film, Amstell takes these skills to the big screen with a film that does not disappoint. Not only providing us a rich romantic comedy but one that is full of tenderness and love.
Benjamin (Colin Morgan) is desperate to relive the success of his first independent film; his head full of ideas, creative impulses and frustration. While his life is a sea of deep anxiety and self created isolation. Consequently as he strives to finish his second film, he is filled with apprehension and insecurity. His frustrations and sense of imminent failure haunting him as the the films premiere grows ever closer.
However, even as his film bombs in spectacular style at Curzon Soho. Benjamins life finds new meaning on meeting French musician Noah (Phénix Brossard)
Amstell is not afraid to hold a mirror to and satirise Londons art scene. Providing us with a cutting and incredibly funny dissection of the artistic community. While equally showing love and affection for its purpose and diversity.
Benjamin is not however, just a funny exploration of Londons artistic scene. It is a beautifully rich romantic comedy, that places gay love centre stage. While also exploring male friendship, vulnerability and support.
This is a film that shines in its realistic and tender exploration of love. Not only demonstrating the healing power of companionship. But also the diversity and vibrant creativity of London. While Amstell takes time in exploring the feelings of apprehension, fear, joy and awkwardness that come with early love. Both Morgan and Brossard exploring male love and companionship with beauty it deserves. While never resorting to damaging stereotypes or cliches.
Benjamin is an assured romantic comedy that will leave you with a huge smile through its well crafted script, excellent performances and loving direction.
Director: Simon Amstell