Ate de Jong (director)
02 December 2017 (released)
03 December 2017
It’s surprising, and disappointing, that a writer as experienced as Ate de Jong has written, produced and co-directed, with Emily Harris, such a conventional and unimaginative film as this.
The premise is slight to start with as we meet Vida (Lydia Wilson) cellist and daughter of a wealthy Jewish doctor, and Arthur (Johnny Flynn) who is the polar opposite being the son of steel workers from a village in Wales. Naturally their quirky individualities mean they get on, bonk and decide to live together. Opposites attract so far so cliched.
The families are also miles apart as becomes painfully clear when the pair fake an engagement and invite them all to a party. Here social and racial prejudices are laid bare which sows the seeds of division between Vida and Arthur.
By tragic co-incidence Vida’s mother (Juliet Stevenson) and Arthur’s father (Robert Blythe) die within 24 hours. This further separates the lovers though they and the families are reunited for a joint memorial during which long held secrets and guilts are revealed. Do they get back together? Cue more endings than the Return of the King.
Nothing in this film will come as any surprise to anyone watching it. The opposites attract and social divide themes are very well ploughed, which is not a problem in itself. It is just that Love is Thicker than Water is just so charmless and unengaging. The comedy is laboured, the acting and direction perfunctory; just what is required, nothing more nothing less.