Socialist Worker

Don’t bank on this lacklustre comedy for laughs

Issue No. 2715

Kelsey Grammer as posh banker Charles Bunbury

Kelsey Grammer as posh banker Charles Bunbury

Kelsey Grammer—probably best known as Frasier, or as Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons—plays a posh English buffoon in this twee comedy about bankers.

Charles Bunbury is the chair of “family” bank Tuftons, which is actually owned by his wife Penelope, played by Tamsin Greig. Bunbury hasn’t a clue what he’s doing and after a catastrophic investment brings Tufton’s tumbling down.

Vultures start circling and Bunbury loses Penelope and the bank to a big-shot US investor.

With the help of a homeless man he sets out to redeem himself and get them both back.

Despite the cast, there aren’t really that many laughs here. It’s a laboured plot with laboured jokes. That’s partly because it all just feels a bit pedestrian and old fashioned. Which is a problem given that the film—first released in 2014—is meant to be topical.

So we’re meant to laugh at the posh oaf’s incompetence and his deserving downfall.

But we’re also meant to root for him and his plucky little bank against the big bad Americans.

It was quite an ask for audiences to warm to a reckless toff. It’s even more tin eared now.

On Netflix from 1 August

American History X

This landmark film about a reformed neo-Nazi is coming to Netflix.

Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving three years in prison for brutally killing two black men who tried to break into his truck.

Before entering prison he was a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang.

On Netflix from 1 August

Where’s The Money?

Del Goodlow has always lived in the Los Angeles hood and works at a gym his father started.

His father’s gym was meant to keep kids off the streets from doing drugs and joining gangs.

But now, his father is in jail and the gym is being driven into debt.

Del’s father calls him and tells about $1 million hidden in the basement of a flop house. Del goes to the flop house and finds that it has been turned into a fraternity.

To get the money he has to infiltrate the fraternity of rich white students.

On Netflix from 1 August

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Fri 24 Jul 2020, 16:20 BST
Issue No. 2715
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