Starter For 10 (2006)
Directed by Tom Vaughan
Produced by Tom Hanks, Pippa Harris & Sam Mendes
Written by David Nicholls
Running time: 92 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Starter for 10 is a 2006 British comedy-drama film directed by Tom Vaughan from a screenplay by David Nicholls, adapted from his own novel Starter for Ten. The film stars James McAvoy as a university student who wins a place on a University Challenge quiz team.
I decided to watch this the other day after reading a review from the lovely Emma on MovieRob’s blog (HERE). I’d known about it but hadn’t known that it was set in my beloved 1980s until I read her review so that was all I needed to convince me to watch it.
Starter For Ten is a book by David Nicholls. I’ve not read it (but Emma has & says it’s of course better than the movie). I did read One Day by David Nicholls and, although it’s very flawed, I still liked the book & the movie (despite the fact that Anne Hathaway was in it – staring at Jim Sturgess & his big brown eyes helped a little). Plus, as I said, Starter For 10 is set in the EIGHTIES! Woohoo! Well, unfortunately, the movie is a bit bland. And as for the 1980s, this is one of those movies where it doesn’t actually look or feel all that much like that decade even though they throw in as much music as possible from that era. Don’t get me wrong – I love 80’s music. At one point I looked at the hubby & said “are they actually playing my playlist?” as it’s filled with things like New Order, The Smiths, Tears For Fears and LOADS of songs from The Cure. It’s nice hearing a bunch of my favorite songs but, at the same time, it also feels very lazy on the part of the filmmakers. It’s like “See? Our movie is set in the eighties because we’re playing The Cure! Ignore Alice Eve with her big boobs & her very un-eighties clothes & blonde highlights – just listen to Motörhead!”
I will say this movie is only really worth a watch if you’re a fan of any of its stars or if you enjoy similar British films. There are some very big names in Starter For 10 so it was fun seeing them just before most of them made it really big in blockbusters like the X-Men, Star Trek & Iron Man series of films. The storyline was extremely predictable to the point of almost being annoying (I’m talking especially about the romance!) but, when the group finally appear on the game show they’ve been preparing for, the film does get a little more fun. The movie is very “British” and I couldn’t help but compare it to Nick Hornby’s books & movies. I have to say I far prefer Hornby & would recommend his stuff over this (especially the book High Fidelity). Overall, Starter For 10 just didn’t really work for me. It’s not a bad movie but the predictable plot and one-dimensional characters just left me feeling “Meh. So what?”. Watch it if you like the actors but first check out some Nick Hornby. And The Cure’s greatest hits!
My Rating: 5.5/10
Who doesn’t love The Cure? Whenever I make a top 5 of their songs it ends up as a top 10 and counting haha. It sounds like a film i’d want to like but couldn’t.
It’s not a “bad” film at all – just a bit “what’s the point?”. I think I was a little harsh, though. And I’m glad to hear from a fan of The Cure! 🙂
Your post made me listen to Disintegration for the billionth time so I’m happy to you either way 🙂
Hmm. I was so intrigued at first but I don’t have time for mediocre. Haha! I do love James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch and I really love the 80 (who doesn’t)… but I think I’ll have to wait until I have nothing else to watch. Thanks for the review!
You’re welcome! Sorry if I talked you out of this. I was maybe a little harsh but “mediocre” does describe this. It’s kind of a fun “Sunday afternoon” movie to stick on while you’re ironing or doing some other mundane task. Lol. I’m still not selling it, am I?? 😉 It’s not bad – it’s just not memorable. 🙂
I completely understand! And I appreciate your honesty. It’s the kind of movie you wouldn’t rewatch but you don’t wish you could unwatch it either.
Exactly! I’m not scarred for life or anything. 😉
Very fair and true! Bland is a good word lol 🙂 but a good cast and likable story make it enough for a one off watch I think.
“the book is so much better!!!” hahahaha.
Thanks for calling me lovely 🙂
You’re welcome – you ARE lovely. 🙂 I felt bad not giving this a great review but I know you yourself far prefer the book anyway. I can totally see how the book would be much more enjoyable here. The story is fun enough! I may read the book someday as well. Sounds like the internal dialogue is funny. 🙂
Oh no not at all! It’s not a movie I love, I don’t even have it on DVD. At least you know now! 🙂
YOU are lovely!!!! 🙂 🙂
Probably not for me……..
Lol. Ya think?!?! 😉
Aww. Don’t be so hard on yourself! 🙂
Yes…….. …… …. …. …. ….. ….. …… Dork
I’d watch this just to laugh the whole time at young James McAvoy. HAHHAAHA he’s still a baby in here!
I know! And you’re just a young kid yourself. Imagine how I feel seeing him in this! Lol. It’s a fun enough movie – just one that won’t exactly change your life or anything. 🙂
Might need to seek this out just to see, if nothing else, how Benedict gets that whopper of a black eye!
Lol. It’s kind of worth seeing just for that. 🙂 Really, it’s not as “bad” as I made it sound. Pointless but fun enough.
Brilliant review, the music sounds like the best part of this movie.
Thanks, Vinnie! Yeah… The music is much better than the film. 😦
I’ll take your word for it.
“Ignore Alice Eve…” — like that’s even possible!
I agree about the film, though. Fine for passing the time, but nothing special.
lol. I’m a girl but can still agree with that – she’s very hot! Yeah… It’s a “Sunday afternoon” kind of movie to watch when you’re bored. 🙂
Ohh I wanna see this, I have never heard of this movie. What you are describing almost sounds like early 90s rather than 80s.
Exactly! This felt more early 90’s at times. Probably too many people involved in it who didn’t actually experience the 80’s. 😉 Not a horrible movie but somewhat fun to watch if you’re bored.
HA! McAvoy and Cumberbatch? YES I WILL HAVE TO SEE THIS! Plus I like Dominic Cooper, so this could be a decent watch. Sorry to see you didn’t enjoy it more!
Oh, you should definitely watch this if you want to see them – it’s worth it to see them before they were mega famous. 🙂 I was probably a little harsh – it’s not like I hated it or anything – it’s just a bit bland.
Hmm. I’m bummed to hear that this is kind of a letdown…but due to Mr. Cumberbatch’s presence, there’s an excellent chance that I will be giving this a shot one day nonetheless. Hahaha. Nice review, lady! Trying to get all caught up on your blog this weekend! 🙂
I think it’s worth a try sometime for you just for the Cumberbatch. 🙂 Ugh – it’s so hard to catch up when falling behind even a few days. I have a good few weeks worth of blog reading to do. 😦
Omg. I have, like, months of reading to do for so many blogs. I feel you, sister.
Great review. Totally mediocre film. Also, The Cure are the best!
Thanks! Agreed. And AGREED! Love The Cure. 🙂
Love The Cure, but not this film. Peweeeew
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