Combustible Celluloid
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With: James McAvoy, Alice Eve, Rebecca Hall, Benedict Cumberbatch, Elaine Tan, Dominic Cooper, Charles Dance, Lindsay Duncan, John Henshaw, Simon Woods
Written by: David Nicholls, based on his novel
Directed by: Tom Vaughan
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, language and a scene of drug use
Running Time: 96
Date: 09/03/2007

Starter for 10 (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Quiz Skid

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Writer David Nicholls adapted his novel into a fairly routine, but refreshingly above-average comedy romance about a smart misfit off to his first year of college. James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland) plays Brian Jackson, a trivia nerd who gets into Bristol University in the mid 1980s. He falls for the dangerous blond Alice (Alice Eve), but his true love, the Molly Ringwald-like Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) is already there for him. The big showdown comes on the TV game show University Challenge. Nicholls and director Tom Vaughan eventually flesh out all the potential stereotypes into full-fledged characters, and their vintage Britpop soundtrack helps set the time and place. Charles Dance appears in a small role; Tom Hanks and Sam Mendes co-produced.

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