The "small english town" genre of movies

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by sojourner, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I personally noticed this trend a few years ago that there were enough movies of the type to actually be it's own genre. I like these movies because as a closet anglophile they give a romanticized picture of what it would be like to live in a small quiet town somewhere in England.

    In the genre as I see it the movies have the following attributes:

    set in a small english town (duh)
    generally a comedy
    ensemble cast
    quirky townsfolk

    Most of the movies center around the towns people coming together for some purpose.

    A few examples of the genre as I see it:

    The Man Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain
    Waking Ned Devine
    Calendar Girls
    The Full Monty

    The hey day for this genre seems to be the 1990's/early 2000's and has slowed in recent years.

    Anybody else have any more examples that would fit?
    (I remember a movie about a football/soccer game but can't recall the title - definitely not Bend It Like Beckham)
     
  2. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Waking Ned was set in Ireland. The Full Monty was set in Sheffield, which is a large industrial city.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    How about the Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz/The World's End "trilogy"? Those are all about small English towns where horrible things are happening.
     
  4. ITL

    ITL Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not sure if it was mentioned onscreen, but I assume that SOTD is set in London.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, at least the latter two fit.
     
  6. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Come to think of if, The Englishman Who...is set in Wales, IIRC.
     
  7. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    Yup, Hot Fuzz fits the most, being a parody of these little middle-of-nowhere countryside villages.

    Haven't had the chance to see World's End yet.
     
  8. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    It is.

    One which more or less fits the description in the OP was Saving Grace. I don't remember if the town was ever named, but everything except the very end was filmed in Cornwall.
     
  9. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hot Fuzz is hardly 'a romanticised version of life' in a small town all the same. Murder, conspiracy, crime?

    Edit - IIRC, Saving Grace inspired the popular Martin Clunes TV show Doctor Martin. While his character in the film was Doctor Bamford, I believe the 2 roles are essentially the same (haven't actually seen either, so I can't say for sure).
     
  10. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Seducing Dr Lewis, though this one is set in a small French-Canadian coastal town.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0366532/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    Fun movie, and I love Waking Ned Divine. This definitely feels like a French-Canadian twist on it.

    Another Canadian movie, which is hard to find these days, is Buried on Sunday:

    And Augustus Knickel is played by Paul Gross, most famous for his role on Due South.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106497/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    And then there's Saving Grace, starring Craig Ferguson:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195234/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

    Edit: Oh wow, I hadn't realized Martin Clunes was even in it as It's been a long time since I've seen it, but I do love Doc Martin :)
     
  11. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Beat me to it. sojourner's National Anglophile Society application is DENIED! :p
     
  12. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Though it's no way a comedy, its two lead actors aren't English, and the setting is supposed to be an island off the coast of Massachusetts, The Shuttered Room still manages to have a distinctly "small English town" feel to it. Oliver Reed and his gang of thugs bring a load of "menacing and creepy" in place of the quirky and amusing local townsfolk.
     
  13. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Now that things have been nicely nitpicked, let me rephrase and broaden the scope. "Small town set in the British isles". :techman:

    But yeah, as others have pointed out there are movies that fit the style that aren't even part of Europe.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's about going back to one of those small towns and finding that it's changed, that you can't go home again.


    Which is kind of the point -- to deconstruct that romanticism. It reminds me of Sherlock Holmes's musings about how far ghastlier things happen in the countryside than in the city because of the greater isolation.
     
  15. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Roseanna's Grave (http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0120034/) is a charming example of such a film but is set in Italy (English language and with a cast of various nationalities). It's a romantic comedy, usually my least favourite genre but has such a lovely leading man and lady in Jean Reno and Mercedes Ruehl that its irresistible. Also, the concept - man tries to ensure that nobody in his village dies, in case they deprive his beloved but terminally ill wife of the final grave in the local graveyard - is hardly the stuff of your average McConaughey/Aniston/whoever romcom by numbers.
     
  16. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Scotland, again, but I think you can include "Local Hero" and "Gregory's Girl."
     
  17. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Brassed Off would seem quite qualified for the OP.

    The Wicker Man wasn't in the same time period and it wasn't particularly humorous, but it did have the quirky residents of a British village getting together for a purpose!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  18. ITL

    ITL Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yep! And even though it's set in a small town, the filming location was actually a very small city. Not an important detail, I know. :)
     
  19. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is an interesting topic. I live in a small English town (although bigger than the "small towns" in question) and I had never thought of them as being a genre of film. I just thought of those places to live. I've been to Wells loads of times (Hot Fuzz) and it just seems like a place to me. Interesting. :)
     
  20. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ... and Christopher Lee in a dress. :eek:

    Withnail & I -- "We want the finest wines available to humanity. And we want them here, and we want them now!"