Paul Ross reviews David Brent: Life on the Road.
If you're a Friends fan, what did you make of Matt le Blanc's spin-off show Joey? Ran for a series (not "season" please. We're Brits). About one fifth/one sixth as funny as the original, because it only featured one sixth of the friends.
And that's the inescapable, fatal, unfunny, uncomfortable and Inconvenient Truth about the David Brent film.
The Office was, above all, an ensemble piece. A fly-on-the-wall spoof sure. Social commentary of course, but, above all a brilliantly written and acted ensemble piece. Martin Freeman's poignant and unrequited bitter-sweet love affair and his acidic put-downs of Mackenzie Crooke ("Gaylords say No" being a particular highlight.) And Finchy. And everyone. Which means the Brent movie is bloated and skinny at the same time - like two litres of Rola Cola - as it features none of the above.
It's just the Brent-Meister, as he'd no doubt call himself. A pathetic, put-upon, bullied dweeb as an on-the-road loo supplies salesman. The Bully Bullied.
But that's nowhere near enough. Even the fly-on-the-wall faux documentary schtick fails because it is curiously unsustainable at feature length.
Too cruel. Too predictable. Too cringey. And just not that funny. Shame.