Should beautiful actors be allowed to play those with plain faces?

Sometimes I Think About Dying is one of those titles you want to shout back at – what? Only sometimes? It is co-produced by, and stars, Daisy Ridley from the Star Wars franchise who, in going from a blockbuster to an interesting independent film, is taking the opposite of the usual career trajectory. Perhaps you can only fight the Dark Lords of the Sith for so long? But it has paid off, as this is an understated little gem. It is directed by Rachel Lambert and written by Stefanie Abel Horowitz, Katy Wright-Mead and Kevin Armento. It’s hard to say what it is exactly. A dour, deadpan romantic comedy probably

The romcom is dead

From bucket hats to Britney Spears, the 1990s and 2000s are back in vogue. Who could have predicted that the cringe-inducing baggy trousers and All Saints-esque crop tops that filled teenage wardrobes 20 years ago would be resurrected with such gusto by Gen Z? But there’s one part of turn-of-the-century culture that remains firmly consigned to the past. Unlike the clothing of the era, the romcom has proved remarkably resistant to modern reinvention – no matter how hard Hollywood tries. Last month, two romantic comedy veterans – Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher – reunited in a stoic effort to woo audiences back to the genre. But their film – Your Place or

10 romcoms that are actually worth watching

The romcom genre has a decidedly mixed record, often becoming a lazy way for stars to cash in on their popularity – with less than loveable results. Witness the career of Matthew McConaughey, which could have been described as ‘Death by romcom’ (Failure to Launch, The Wedding Planner, Fool’s Gold etc) until his 2011 comeback with Killer Joe. Gerard Butler also tried his hand with a slew of mediocre pictures (Playing for Keeps, The Bounty Hunter, The Ugly Truth etc), before reverting to action flicks. But once in a while, the chemistry is just right and everything falls into place. Here’s my pick of ten alternative romantic comedies that avoid the

A romcom with very little com: BBC1’s Black Narcissus reviewed

In Black Narcissus, based on the novel by Rumer Godden, five nuns set off for a remote Himalayan palace in 1934 to set up a convent school. The palace, donated by an Anglophile general, used to be a harem and was still adorned with erotic paintings. It was also where the general’s sister, Srimati, had committed suicide and where, just a few months previously, a male religious order had tried to establish a school too, before retiring defeated for mysteriously undisclosed reasons. The nuns’ main helper in practical matters, a British expat called Mr Dean (Alessandro Nivola), possessed an overwhelming maleness that expressed itself through such attributes as a chiselled

I want to support cinema but I have my work cut out with Love Sarah

Some cinemas have reopened, with the rest to follow by the end of the month, thankfully. But the big, hotly anticipated films — Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, for example, or A Quiet Place II — won’t be out for a while yet, as opening schedules are adjusted. However, there is a new film that is cinema-only: it’s British, and it’s called Love Sarah. It stars Celia Imrie and is about three generations of women who seek to overcome grief by founding a bakery in London’s Notting Hill rather than running away to join Isis, say. (Is it always a bakery in Notting Hill or does it just feel like that?) I