Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In an effort to expand my movie watching horizons I made the fateful choice to sit down one night with this particular movie ĎI Really Hate my Jobí because it focuses on subject matter that I normally wouldnít have much interest in, that being young frustrated working class white women in London. A fateful decision indeed. That being said I can relate to anyone who is stuck in a labor situation which keeps them isolated from their true calling in life, but I donít think this movie was really about that. I donít think ĎI Really Hate my Jobí was about anything quite honestly, just a day in the life of five frustrated working class white women in London.

The movie opens with a shot of Alice (Shirley Henderson), Frustrated Woman No. 1, who narrates briefly about how much she hates her job. This job would be as an assistant in the kitchen of an eclectic London restaurant, a job which she only keeps because one day she will fulfill her destiny as Britainís greatest author. This particular night will be quite the challenge for Alice as the head Chef has called in sick leaving Alice to handle all the cooking duties, a job she is not quite ready for either professionally or emotionally.

Frustrated Woman No. 2 would be Madonna (Anna Maxwell Martin) who runs the restaurant floor and is stressing in her own right because her live in girlfriend seems to be leaving her. Suzie (Alexandra Maria Lara) represents Frustrated Woman No. 3, who really isnít all that frustrated just a little flighty as she waits tables to pay for her classes on her journey to becoming an artist. Suzieís lack of frustration is more than made up in Frustrated Woman no. 4, the restaurantís barkeep Abi (Neve Campbell) who is a starving, loud, rude, obnoxious, American born wannabe actress whose boyfriend keeps texting her messages on why heís broken up with her. Iím guessing here but

I think the man broke up with Abi because sheís loud, rude and obnoxious. Finally thereís Rita (Oana Pellea), Frustrated Woman No. 5 who is the oldest of the bunch and probably the most frustrated of the bunch because she has had the longest time to be frustrated. I guess. Iím sure it goes deeper than that but thatís all I got.

So our ladies go through this very busy night at this little underground restaurant dealing with their myriad of personal issues, an infestation of rats and an alleged appearance by actor Danny Huston and thenÖ wellÖ go home and do it all again the next day. Except maybe Abi.

One of the problems I personally had with this movie ĎI Really hate my Jobí, and this is a pretty serious issue, is that there were times I couldnít understand what in the hell these actresses were saying. Now if I were watching ĎDie Hardí or something and I couldnít understand what John McClain was saying thatís okay because heís going to blow somebodyís head off in about thirty seconds anyway and what he might have been saying didnít matter much regardless. But here in a movie which consists only of dialog Iím thinking I need to hear what these lovely wenches are prattling on about. At times they were whispering or muttering dialog, on top of that there were times they speaking really quickly in a staccato, stage play fashion and then layer some pronounced British accents on top of this and I was lost on more than one occasion. Maybe it was just me and I need to have my ears checked but I havenít had a problem with British accents before seeing this movie so there you go. I should mention that Neve Campbellís character was the exception since she was yelling everything. No problem understanding her.

As to the movie itself and what I could understand, well, it didnít leave me with the warmest feeling. Since thereís no particular plot in this completely character driven film it fairly critical that you enjoy the characters in someway to squeeze some enjoyment or entertainment out of this thing. Truth be told I didnít care for these characters all that much. I didnít care about their problems, I didnít care about their various issues, I though they were winy and painfully annoying. If Alice hates her job so much, then dammit Alice, get a new one. Unless she needed the gig to send money to her bastard children that were never mentioned, get a new job Alice. I am certain all the histrionics and whining and complaining all lead to a much deeper meaning which exposes a very complex subtext, but I couldnít go that deep.

Yes, I didnít care for ĎI Really Hate my Jobí which made for 90 of the longer minutes of my life, but that doesnít mean that Iím going to stop trying to expand my film viewing visions. My only hope is that in the next frustrated chick flick I watch I can understand what they are saying. Thatís all I want.

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