Happy Birthday, Toby Simpson | A white-collar wuss learns to break free

Happy Birthday Toby Simpson Alexander Perkins
(Image credit: Jellyfish Films)

Happy Birthday Toby Simpson Alexander Perkins

Something mild.

An uptight stick-in-the-mud learns to loosen up with help from a free-spirited young woman in the appealing British indie movie Happy Birthday, Toby Simpson, which comes across as a balmy version of those American yuppie-in-peril movies of the 1980s.

The eponymous Toby, played by Alexander Perkins (Ralph in The Office), is a henpecked, white-collar wuss who lands up at a West Country music festival in the company of Edyta Budnik’s bright-eyed Czech aromatherapist after a pickpocket relieves him of his wallet and phone.

The plot is a little on the thin side, with Toby’s misadventures a Something Mild rather than Something Wild, but Perkins and Budnik click well together and give the movie bags of charm.

Certificate 15. Runtime 78 mins. Director Patrick Makin

Happy Birthday, Toby Simpson (aka Breaking Free) debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 1 May.


Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.