Deborah Ross

Looking for love

Beginners is a romance, sort of, and I thought I would love it, wanted to love it and strived to love it with every fibre of my being bar those that are currently enjoying a mini-break at Champneys — don’t worry, they are paying their own way; my fibres always do.

Beginners is a romance, sort of, and I thought I would love it, wanted to love it and strived to love it with every fibre of my being bar those that are currently enjoying a mini-break at Champneys — don’t worry, they are paying their own way; my fibres always do.

Beginners is a romance, sort of, and I thought I would love it, wanted to love it and strived to love it with every fibre of my being bar those that are currently enjoying a mini-break at Champneys — don’t worry, they are paying their own way; my fibres always do. I even saw all the reasons why I should love it. It stars Ewan McGregor, whom I adore. It co-stars Christopher Plummer, who must be 197 now, but just gets more and more sublime, and it features a little dog called Arthur, who speaks in subtitles which, in normal circumstances, would guarantee a direct arrow to my heart. But?

It’s OK, I suppose, and quite sweet. But I couldn’t love it for proper, probably because its characters are always more interested in themselves than we are in them, plus it’s just too self-consciously tricksy. Arthur is self-consciously tricksy. If he were my dog I would sit him down — ‘Arthur, sit’ — and say, ‘Arthur, has it ever occurred to you that you might be too self-consciously tricksy for your own good?’ Sometimes, dogs need to think about these things.

McGregor is Oliver, a 38-year-old graphic designer who lives in Los Angeles and has yet to have a meaningful or committed relationship with a woman. (I’m telling you, an available Ewan McGregor wouldn’t last long down our way, but that may just be N4 for you.) We first meet him when he is cleaning out the house of his dead father, Hal (Plummer).

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