film review: Cemetery Junction (2010)


Cemetery Junction posterBeen taking a break from watching films and writing reviews but I thought I’d better get back it. Unfortunately this means I have to think back a few weeks to work out what to write about. Then I remembered Cemetery Junction. I wish I couldn’t though.

I saw Cemetery Junction a good while back actually, at an early press screening a few weeks before it was released. I had to sign a embargo agreement though so I wasn’t able to blog / tweet about it at the time. It was probably best for them that I did sign that agreement… because I hated it.

Since the film has come out I’ve been seeing quite positive reviews for it. I honestly can’t understand that. I thought this was an awful film. Ok… maybe that’s a bit harsh. It wasn’t horrific or anything, we’ve not talking about worst ever territory. It’s just that it was all so terribly dull, unoriginal, flat, tiresome, boring… you get the picture. I did not think it was a good film.

My main problem with it was that there was no edge to it. As far as I can gather it’s supposed to be a coming of age film about three aimless losers in a nothing town who want to leave. And it kind of is, but it’s done in such a woolly, fluffy, cop-out way that it hardly matters what it’s about. The whole film dances along a line to its completely predictable conclusion. It’s as insubstantial as its oft repeated inane joke. In fact, the script repeats so many exchanges I started to wonder if they used Copy & Paste just to make the film a bit longer. As though it needed to be longer, 95 mins? It felt like 3 hours.

Most of the characters were shallow, half moulded stereotypes. Damsel in distress, evil boss, conniving fiancée of our damsel, angry young man (complete with black polo neck), village idiot, racist grandmother, Ricky Gervais. It was like watching a cartoon, no depth whatsoever. To be fair the lead was decent and likeable and there was a reasonable attempt to give him some motivation… though he was saddled with a script that had him flip flopping for no apparent reason. It makes me wonder if Gervais and Merchant are only capable of writing caricatures, unable to form normal, fully rounded people.

I really don’t know how this film has got any positive reviews. I’m baffled to the point of wondering if I actually saw a different cut from what went into the cinemas. I don’t see how it could be getting such good ratings. Perhaps people just love Ricky Gervais that much.

Oh by the way, this isn’t a comedy. Now, I didn’t think it was going to be a comedy so it’s not like I didn’t like it because it wasn’t what I expected. But I do think people who don’t know anything about it and are thinking of going just because they’ve seen Gervais’s name on the poster and they think he’s funny should be warned that this isn’t meant to be a riotous comedy. Don’t take this as a particular criticism on my part though, it’s just a fact.

So basically, I hated it and I don’t think anyone should bother wasting their time watching it. I will make this one concession though. There was one good scene toward the end which I did think had a sharpness and a reality to it. It was like they’d taken it from some other good film and spliced it in by accident.

That’s probably enough ranting from me… though to be honest I feel like I’ve gone easy on it. Oh well…



  1. comment-avatar
    PhilMay 3, 2010 - 10:30 pm

    I fully agree. I thought this was a dreadfully poor film, completely reliant on clichés and crass writing. I’m as baffled as you are by the positive reception it has received so far.

  2. comment-avatar
    OliveMay 4, 2010 - 12:38 pm

    I really enjoyed Cemetery Junction! Thought it was light enough entertainment.

  3. comment-avatar
    Nicola-tMay 4, 2010 - 1:09 pm

    Hee hee, ah well no accounting for taste right Olive? 😉 Nah, of course everyone is entitled to their opinion… I dunno, I just couldn’t get into it at all, I found it really annoying… and lazy, really lazy.

    But then, it got lots of positive reviews so what do I know? I just felt I had to write one for all those people, like me, who did think it was crap!

  4. comment-avatar
    mattMarch 8, 2011 - 4:08 pm

    Thanks for this review. It pretty much sums up my own feelings about the project. This so called “dramedy” was awful. I saw it last year at FACT in Liverpool and the buzz coming out of the cinema was very positive but my girlfriend and I both hated it. I could not believe that two writers of such obvious talent could produce something so unoriginal and cringeworthy. I couldnt look at the screen for the last ten minutes. This cliche ridden film offered up an even bigger cliche ridden ending. Hollyoaks scriptwriters would have rejected it.

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