Why Love Actually is not the heartwarming rom-com you’re remembering

Published in The Independent on March 22, 2017

Fourteen years after it first schmaltzed up our cinema screens, Love Actually is back. Richard Curtis has filmed a short reunion for Comic Relief. Obviously, that’s a marvellous cause and everyone please give generously to charity. But if there’s one film which does not deserved to be looked on charitably, it’s surely Love Actually. Continue reading “Why Love Actually is not the heartwarming rom-com you’re remembering”

Why Ross and Rachel’s relationship was doomed

Published in The Debrief on May 27, 2016

Ross and Rachel: on again, off again, on a break. But of course they were eventually on. They might have started as the ultimate will-they won’t-they couple, but they were meant to be together, right? That final episode of Friends was always going to be The One where they realised they’d already found The One. Continue reading “Why Ross and Rachel’s relationship was doomed”

Patrick Marber and David Leveaux on reviving Closer

Published in The Independent on Sunday on February 15, 2015

In reviving his seminal 1997 play Closer, playwright Patrick Marber is having an odd encounter: “It’s like your past coming to meet you. Very strange feeling … quite nice; bit disturbing.” He’s not the only one who’ll be brought up sharp by the return of Closer at the Donmar this month, in its first major revival since the original, late-Nineties run that saw it travel from the National to the West End and on to Broadway.

The play – a witty but often cruel four-hander about the romantic turmoil of four Londoners, involving overlapping relationships and betrayals – tends to elicit strong responses. An audience may feel flayed by the brutalities that unfold, as we see the first and last meetings of each swapping couple. People who witnessed it in one of its original incarnations tend to remember the experience. Continue reading “Patrick Marber and David Leveaux on reviving Closer”

Graeme Simsion on writing the sequel to The Rosie Project

Published in The Independent on Sunday on September 21, 2014

“When I sign books for men, I often put ‘there’s a little bit of Don Tillman in all of us’,” says Graeme Simsion.

We’ve met to talk about Don – his hugely successful comic character, an on-the-spectrum Australian genetics professor. Don burst on to the fiction charts in The Rosie Project last year, wielding questionnaires and schedules in his quest to find love. Inevitably, meeting a spirited young woman named Rosie soon derailed his methodical plans. Continue reading “Graeme Simsion on writing the sequel to The Rosie Project”