Richard Curtis, creator of Blackadder and Mr. Bean, is one of the most powerful people in British show business. His laudable and dedicated career-long work for the charity Comic Relief, which has gained a political dimension since his involvement with the pressure group Live 8, has given him one of the country’s most illustrious contact books; his forthcoming knighthood has almost certainly already been minted. Of course he has also written and/or directed a number of highly successful films destined for the U.S. market, among them Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually. As such, it is incumbent on us to take him seriously as an auteur of sorts, especially since the world he has created through his movies (Curtis’s Britain, with all the cracks papered over, like a tourist board video) is so vividly singular.
How ironic, then, that his latest offering, a nostalgic rock ‘n’ roll movie called Pirate Radio (original British title: The Boat That Rocked) might have been saved from shipwreck if only Curtis had gone back to his roots and written it as a sitcom instead. Click here to read the rest of Julien Allen’s review of Pirate Radio.