Cemetery Junction is the newest movie by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, starring Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes, Jack Doolan, Felicity Jones, Matthew Goode, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
1973. Freddie (Christian Cooke) just got a job at the local insurance company, which he believes will make all his dreams come true – house, wife, kids, not working in a factory like his friend Bruce (Tom Hughes). But things get shaken up when it turns out that Freddie’s mentor Mike (Matthew Goode) is dating the boss’ (Ralph Fiennes) daughter Julie (Felitcity Jones). Julie and Freddie used to be friends as kids, and hit it off again right away.
Cemetery Junction is not what you expect Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant movie. Neither of them plays a big part and their usual humor is mostly absent. Instead, it’s a sweet, funny and romantic coming-of-age story.
Cemetery Junction is a movie I would have liked to have seen ten years ago, I think. It really spoke to my teenage self. There’s the question of leaving home, the issue of being more than people thought etc. Which were pretty important topics for me at the time (as I guess they are for most teens). And Cemetery Junction broaches them with warmth, understanding and intelligence.
This completely makes up for the fact that the storyline is pretty conventional. You know what’s going to happen five minutes in, and it happens exactly that way. This makes the movie less challenging than it could have been – but perfect soul food material.
What I did like about the plot very much though was how Freddie wins Julie: by respecting her, by seeing her as a person with her own wishes and goals. It is sad to say, but it’s rare that the hero in a movie acts that way.
The cast is excellent. That’s not surprising when it comes to Ralph Fiennes (who does his usual thing), Emily Watson (who it’s always good to see) or Matthew Goode. But also the younger actors could not only hold their own. Especially Tom Hughes made a big impression on me. I’m sure that we’re going to see more of him.
Summarising: Don’t expect the usual Ricky Gervais and you’ll definitely enjoy this movie.