Movie review: “Starter for Ten”

Starter for Ten (2007) (trailer here) is a film version of the novel of the same title, written by David Nicholls and directed by Tom Vaughan.

It stars dishy James McAvoy (from Atonement) in a kind of coming of age story set in England in 1985. Brian Jackson (McAvoy) comes from a working class family in Southend-on-Sea, and his father died some time ago. When Brian succeeds in enrolling for his first year at Bristol University, he has to say goodbye to his mates back home and start a new life.

Brian also has a childhood passion for accumulating snippets of knowledge. As a result, he is a whiz at quizzes, particularly a show called University Challenge. The title of the movie refers to the catchphrase of this TV show, namely: “Your starter for 10”. Brian thus joins the University’s challenge team, in the hope of competing in the show.

His life is complicated by the fact that he falls in love with one of his team-mates, a luscious blonde by the name of Alice (played by Alice Eve). Fortunately, Alice seems to reciprocate his passions a little…. But there’s another girl waiting in the wings, so to speak: the outspoken Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) who participates in all kinds of social protest actions.

All in all, an easy-going and entertaining movie. Just don’t expect anything earth-shattering or life-altering.

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Other movies we’ve watched in July:  

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