2010, Stephen Frears (a boatload of british TV and movies like High Fidelity and The Queen) -- netflix
I think I have already said it before but one thing about the light hearted british comedy that I really enjoy, is their ability to handle multiple plot elements without the movie being overwhelmed. A standard american (comedy) movie tries to be about no more than 3 things. Tamara Drewe is about a journalist returning home after a life-changing career and nose job, its about a writer's retreat, it's about infidelity, it's about fan obsession. But is all handled with a good amount of wit, emotion and balance.
But the tie or the driving force behind all the actions in the movie is the return of titled Tamara. She stirs up the emotions, she unravels the status quo, she dredges up the memories and she upsets the loathesome little fangirls. Yeah, the fangirls who adore the rockstar that Tamara shacks up with are scary little examples of how people in a small village can be led by their obsessions. But they do make you laugh.
It's funny but I thought, based on the movie poster and the plot description, that this was going to be a vehicle of fanservice titillation, carried through by Gemma Arterton who plays Tamara. And I was supported in that first thought when she walks on the screen in those short shorts. I admit, I was not going to be adverse to her character being such portrayed. But I was more pleasantly surprised when she turned out to be more than an instigator in others' plots but also very much on her own path of growth.
Bonus Paragraph! This is another of this summer's comic book movies! OK, comic serial...