WOOOAH I'M HALFWAY THERE.
I figured tonight I needed a little drama in my movie travels, so I decided to watch Cemetery Junction. Cemetery Junction is the directorial debut of the team of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. While the duo is most known for their comedy series' The Office and Extras, as well as their hit podcast, this is more of a dramatic departure than anything they've done before.
The story revolves around a group of three friends, Freddie, Bruce, and Snork who all deal with life in the small English town of Cemetery Junction. Freddie seemingly has big plans for his life which doesn't include following in his father's (played by Ricky Gervais
) footsteps and working at the local steel mill. He decides to apply for a job at the town's life insurance office, which after a few weeks with his boss Mr. Kendrick (Ralph Fiennes
) and his trainer Mike (Matthew Goode
), doesn't seem to be all it appears to be. Bruce is a violent kid who's constantly getting into drunken fights because apparently he has severe daddy issues. Snork, well, he's basically the comic relief of the film. He's pretty complacent in his life and really doesn't like shaking things up. He does, however, have a love for bad jokes, bad tattoos, even worse anecdotes, and the word "cunt."
In his training, Freddie meets up with Mike's soon to be wife and the daughter of Mr. Kendrick, Julie and a love interest is born. We also see that Julie's home life isn't really all peaches and cream, either. She's got big dreams to travel the world, but is unsure if either Mike or her father will support her in her endeavors. Julie's one backbone in the film is her mother played wonderfully by Emily Mortimer
Gervais and Merchant aren't really known for their dramatic side, but they seem to really pull it off here. There are a few trademark Gervais/Merchant style jokes throughout the film. The awkward and sometimes conversations with the Taylor family at times seem like they'd fit right in an episode of Extras. Cemetery Junction however is more about the town itself and the characters within. Whether or not they're just fine staying in the town or want escape and strike it out in the world on their own. Coming from a small podunk town myself, I can understand the desire to get out and not flounder around. To be a "big fish in a small pond" as the movie puts it.
So yeah, I really liked this movie. I really went in with no other expectations other than "oh hey Gervais/Merchant dramedy I guess I'll check it out." I was quite pleased with the result.