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The Crack Magazine

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Greatest Days

Director: Coky Giedroyc

Stars: Aisling Bea, Amaka Okafor, Jayde Adams, Alice Lowe, Jessie Mae Alonzo, Marc Wooten

This adaptation of the Take That jukebox musical is a disappointingly rote feelgood Britfilm, as well as shameless attempt to replicate the success of ‘Mamma Mia!’.

Aisling Bea is Rachel, a thirty-something nurse and 90s pop obsessive, constantly having to rebuff wedding proposals from her soppy ineffectual boyfriend – fellers, amirite ladies?

She wins four tickets in a radio competition to attend a reunion concert in Athens (Greece, because of ‘Mamma Mia!’, we guess) by her teenage idols and Take That surrogates ‘The Boys’, the band’s generic name an indication of the paucity of imagination here.

First, Rachel must round up the old Clitheroe school pals she has not seen in twenty-five years. They are brassy schoolgirl turned Italy-dwelling fashionista Heather (Lowe), disappointed college worker Zoe (Okfor), and ex-sporty one Claire (Adams). Another of their teen pals, Debbie (Alonzo) is mysteriously absent and the picture flashes back to outline the girls’ friendship and explain their missing friend.

Other than the odd okay, if over-lit, musical set piece/fantasy sequence (the dearth of Take That bangers means the soundtrack sports three of their cover versions) this is a cursed combo of the sort of noughties Britflick that purported to celebrate yer Great Northern Eccentric while actually patronising them, and the cavalier anything-goes plotting of ‘Mamma Mia’, minus the spectacle of A-listers having a laugh and letting their hair down.

The tireless Aisling Bea manages to somehow keep it on the rails, and a performance of ‘Relight My Fire’ in which a bus is transformed into a nightclub is rousing good fun, otherwise this one is for the Take That faithful only.

Greatest Days is released on 16th April

David Willoughby

Follow David on Twitter @DWill_Crackfilm

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