As theaters in America and the U.K. get ready to welcome Michael Winterbottom’s hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, The Guardian takes a close (and skeptical) look at the challenges faced by British comedians making the transition from TV to film. A Cock and Bull Story is a vehicle not only for the always-amusing Steve Coogan, but also an assorted cast of Brit TV favorites. Is this a trend filmmakers and comedians should nurture? Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Not everyone’s so upbeat about comedians making the leap into cinema. British comedy’s golden boy Ricky Gervais – conspicuous by his absence from the roll call of movie converts – recently bemoaned: “After the second episode of The Office I was offered the lead role in a film. I hate it when a British comedian becomes popular and the first thing they do is appear in four films and they’re all terrible, lottery-funded, tacky shit.”
His comment is significant, not least because his former fellow cast members – Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis and Mackenzie Crook – are among the vanguard of the drive towards film comedy. It wouldn’t take long to concoct a version of Six Degrees of Separation where every recent British comedy flick is linked back to somebody in The Office.