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Neal Vitale Reviews: Secretariat

Neal Vitale Reviews: Tamara Drewe

3 stars out of 5

While not an unpleasant way to spend a couple of hours, Tamara Drewe disappoints coming from talented director Stephen Frears, whose credits include The Queen, High Fidelity, The Grifters, and Dangerous Liaisons. Based on the graphic novel by British writer and cartoonist Posy Simmonds, this story is a cute, occasionally surprising, and often quite funny tale of romantic intrigue in the English countryside. But, despite the nubile charms of Gemma Arterton (Prince Of Persia, Quantum Of Solace, Pirate Radio) in the title role, all the characters are exaggerated, shallowly-sketched stereotypes, and the film tilts toward farce. The screenwriting and acting are equally to blame, and we should expect better from Mr. Frears.