Stage sensation All In Good Time loses its focus on the big screen
00:28 GMT, 11 May 2012
All In Good Time
Verdict: Light, but likeable
This is a well-intentioned, likeable, warm-hearted tragi-comedy about the marital difficulties experienced by a young couple.
It started out as a 1963 play by Bill Naughton and was turned into a 1966 feature film called The Family Way.
Forty years later, it was reworked into Rafta Rafta, a play by Ayub Khan-Din (East Is East) about the Indian community in Bolton. Directed by Nicholas Hytner for the National Theatre, it won the Olivier Award for best new comedy.
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Engaging young people: Amara Karan and Reece Ritchie in All In Good Time
The film version is directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls, Made In Dagenham), but he has wisely got Harish Patel and Meera Syal to reprise their stage roles as the groom’s parents. Both give splendid turns — he is flamboyant, yet vulnerable; she’s supportive but secretive.
Reece Ritchie and Amara Karan make an engaging young couple, and it’s easy to sympathise with their nervousness and embarrassment.
Sadly, the comic observation of Asian Britain is nowhere near as funny or gripping as in East Is East, and the plot feels too thin to sustain a feature film. The ending is especially rushed and unconvincing.
Writer and director needed to dig deeper into the characters and explore the wider social implications.
The result is a film that will struggle to survive for longer than a week outside Bolton. However, it’s the kind of picture that will turn up on TV in a few years and strike many as charming and under-rated.
Now watch the video