Sparks & Embers | Film review - Kris Marshall & Annelise Hesme strive to ignite drippy romcom

Sparks and Embers.jpg
(Image credit: © The Movie Partnership)


Likeable leads Kris Marshall and Annelise Hesme do their best to ignite low-budget British romcom Sparks & Embers, but writer-director Gavin Boyter's drippy script refuses to catch fire.

The stars play yet another of those chalk-and-cheese duos beloved of the romantic comedy genre - he's a slobbish English manchild; she's businesslike, chic and French - and the film shuttles back and forth between their first meeting, trapped together in a broken lift after she has just got him fired from his record company job, and what threatens to be their final rendezvous, loitering on London's South Bank six months after their breakup, before she takes the train back to France for good.

Marshall and Hesme prove amiable company, but the gags they get are so ropey that it's all too easy to become distracted by the film's hazy grasp of the capital's geography.

Certificate 15. Runtime 85 mins. Director Gavin Boyter

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.