New Diane Keaton rom-com is super mediocre

There is something better for you to watch than Donald and Emily (Picture: Supplied)
There is something better for you to watch than Donald and Emily (Picture: Supplied)

City Press movie review

Movie: Hampstead

Director: Joel Hopkins

Starring: Diane Keaton, Brendan Gleeson

Let’s get this out of the way first: This film is distributed by The Weinstein Company, which was founded by alleged serial sexual harasser Harvey Weinstein. Then there’s the fact that its lead actress, Diane Keaton, is a fierce defender of alleged child molester Woody Allen. All in all, I’m not very happy that I watched it.

Hampstead revolves around American widow Emily Walters (Keaton), who lives in the British countryside. Emily can’t quite focus on things that need her attention, like her sweet old apartment, her finances and her son. Then she meets the unconventional Donald (Brendan Gleeson), who lives in a shack in the woods. Predictably, they fall in love.

When property developers come along and threaten to demolish Donald’s home to make way for luxury apartments, Emily urges him to fight
to stay.

This debate about greedy property moguls is the most interesting thing about the film, but, just like the love story, there’s really no originality over here.

The political message about affordable housing and gentrification is dealt with in such an underwhelming way that it might as well have been omitted entirely. At the same time, I really don’t want to be judgemental about how people find love, but now how does this well-to-do woman who likes nice things settle for a man she finds in a bush?

Hampstead is inspired by the story of Harry Hallowes, a homeless man who was awarded the deed to a £2 million plot of land on the fringe of Hampstead Heath in 2007 after having squatted there for 20 years.

At best, you’ll find this to be a corny comedy-drama that you wish you’d never seen. The acting isn’t terrible, but not even that can save this from being uninspired.

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