London Film Festival 2009: THE LAST DAYS OF EMMA BLANK Review
The Last Days... makes sly digs at familial duty, greed and hypocrisy as Emma's unending and increasingly unreasonable demands eventually take their toll and a mutiny of sorts takes hold. At first appearing as actual servants, a series of comic set-ups introduce the family and their blood ties. A particularly amusing episode has Emma instruct her down-trodden husband to instantly grow a moustache, leading to a bizarre catwalk display of assorted false lip pieces. There's also considerable comic mileage had from Theo's 'human dog'. Whether through encouraging him to take a number 2 in the garden, the numerous dry humpings or simply going for a walk (doggy-style), it's a witty subversion of the notion that we treat our pets too like humans.
Beyond these comic trappings, the drama struggles. A subplot involving Gonnie's potential suitors is curiously uninvolving with the surreal slant to proceedings allowing the audience little empathy with any of the characters. Her youthful desire to leave the oppressive confines of the stale family environment (she's been flirting with Meijer since a little kid) however is the key impetus behind the narrative's progression, and she does provide much needed drama away from Emma's comic interludes.
Much like French comedy Let's Talk About The Rain, it is enjoyable and amusing but lacks the substance that would make it more memorable. Fun whilst you watch, but fades soon after.
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