“Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck! Y’gotta laugh, don’t ya.”

Life Is Sweet – leave it to the self-effacing British to trash Mike Leigh every time I mentioned him in conversation overseas. I understand where dislike for him comes from, but I don’t agree with it. However, Life Is Sweet is the only film of his I’ve seen where I have felt something similar to what his critics talk about. The characters are so broad (with the exception of David Thewlis’s mesmerisingly languid “Lover” and Jim Broadbent’s immediately familiar Andy) that you feel the life go out of the film and are only left with the “sweet” part. And that’s never any fun. What I love about Leigh’s films are the details… Life is Sweet seemed to lack those things. But as a filmmaker it does teach me a lesson. Which is much much more than I could ever say for garbage like Quills.

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