- 13 Aug 21
Directed by Jack Clough. Starring Allan Mustafa, Hugo Chegwin, Steve Stamp, Asim Chaudhry, Lily Brazier. 97 mins. Out August 18.
It was traditionally an ill-fated concept, but the big screen adaption of UK sitcoms has had a a dramatically increased rate of success over the past 15 years or so, with acclaimed outings for Alan Partidge, The League of Gentlemen and The Inbetweeners. The latest show to follow the trend is cult Beeb effort People Just Do Nothing, which has followed its fifth series in 2018 with this hotly anticipated feature.
Shot in the mockumentary style of This Is Spinal Tap and The Office, People Just Do Nothing focuses on five veterans of the London garage scene, who as the movie opens have given up their musical dreams to pursue a variety of regular jobs, from bowling alley attendant to postman. Having received word of their renewed popularity in Japan due to one of the songs featuring on a surreal game-show, the lads – who collectively style themselves as the pirate radio crew Kurupt FM – head to Tokyo to try and realise their big-time ambitions.
Inevitably, things don’t go as planned, with record company clashes, love affairs, drug-related mishaps and more all scuppering the Kurupt FM masterplan. In a time when film comedy is increasingly dominated by hammy American fare, People Just Do Nothing is a refreshing reminder of the best aspects of UK comedy, with the adventures of MC Grindah, DJ Beats and co. revolving around character nuance and brilliant observational humour.
Indeed, there are traces of David Brent and the aforementioned Partridge in the various group members, with People Just Do Nothing following in the great UK tradition of crime comedy. Nonetheless, there remains considerable affection in the movie’s portrayal of the group, who all retain a level of warmth and positivity even as their trip disastrously unravels.
While the cast are uniformly excellent, special mention has to go to Asim Chaudhry, who excels as Kurupt FM’s wannabe Svengali Chabuddy G, particularly in his showdowns with a suspicious airport official (Chabuddy has a dodgy passport) and the band’s Japanese manager Taka (Ken Yamamura). Elsewhere, Steve Stamp has several memorable moments as the drug-devouring Steves, and there are a couple of impressive set-pieces involving the group’s catastrophic attempt at choreography and their booking on the infamous game-show.
A brilliantly funny big screen outing for the garage comedy crew, this is a summer treat not to be missed.
People Just Do Nothing opens in cinemas on August 18th.