Dear Elizabeth (2020) – Film Review

Dear Elizabeth Film Review comedy

Director: Scott Abramovitch
Cast: Tony Hale, Elisha Cuthbert, Danielle Brooks
Certificate: 12

By Roger Crow

The phrase ‘quirky indie comedy’ is over used, but this new offering fits the bill admirably.

Tony Hale plays Sid Straw, an everyday guy whose life takes a massive tumble when he tries to get in touch with an old classmate, who also happens to be international star Elizabeth Banks.

He’s got a big heart, but doesn’t really understand how social media works, so when he keeps writing to Ms Banks on Facebook, he thinks it’s a two-way conversation rather than a series of random message the whole world can see.

Inevitably her people file a restraining order, which means he gets banned from the school reunion she may or may not attend.

In an attempt to attend said reunion, he must fight the case, and all he can afford is a legal eagle who isn’t really a lawyer yet.

Dear Elizabeth Film Review

“Charming enough”

Having won the Best Comedy Award at San Diego International Film Festival, this is not the worst comedy you’ll see all year, but by the end you will wonder if that’s all there is. And what was in competition at said festival?

Hale, who some will know from Arrested Development, is a likeable mix of Pee Wee Herman and The 40 Year Old Virgin, while Elisha Cuthbert barely seems to have aged since her ‘24’ days. She plays Sid’s snarky, pregnant sister-in-law, who does an about face at the end, which may be down to a plot development, or just the rules of a good old redemption story.

The hapless lawyer gets far too much screen time in the third act, and the usual tropes of a school reunion restoring the balance of the hero’s life doesn’t really work. See Grosse Pointe Blank for a better example.

The inevitable pay-off over the closing titles is okay, but by then it’s all a little too twee to have an effect. It’s charming enough, and just the right duration, but by the end you may have wished for more.

Dear Elizabeth is on digital now

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