I finally got around to seeing the unjustly neglected PIRATE RADIO . I could not beleive that this gem of a movie was thrashed by critics and overlooked by audiences.
It is a clever ,and often funny tale based upon the true story of RADIO 270 ,an illegal radio station that broadcast from an old freighter Ocean 7 to circumvent British Broadcasting rules against rock and roll radio. Though it only broadcast from 1966 through 1967, the station and others like it allowed the people of England to hear such groups as The Stones, Hendrix, and The Who among others.
The 2009 film ,known in it's native England as THE BOAT THAT ROCKED , has a marvelous ensemble cast that includes Bill Nighy (whom I think is Curtis' muse on screen) , Kenneth Branagh , a superb British ensemble cast, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as an American DJ aboard the vessel.
The DVD has several deleted scenes that were sadly cut for time , and you can hear it in Curtis' intro to these scenes that he mourns their loss, as well as the film's financial disappointment.
Personally, I think it was one of the best films I've seen from the past year ,and I do urge you to seek it out.
Watching this film made me go back and re visit LOVE ACTUALLY , another ensemble picture . Nighy once again appears as a washed up rock and roller trying to make a comeback doing a Xmas redo of "Love Is All Around" (first introduced by the Troggs , the song again became a huge hit in the 1990s when Wet Wet Wet redid it for FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL) .
Hugh Grant is the Prime Minister who falls for a tea girl (Martine McCutcheon)while standing up to a bullying U.S.President (Billy Bob Thorton, channeling Bush and I think the Prime Minister's standing up to the Prez was a wish many Brits wished had happened , Alan Rickman & Emma Thompson are a couple with children ,Liam Neeson and his stepson Sam (Thomas Sangster) deal with the loss of Neeson's wife , Laura Linney tries to find love in the office but a personal family problem keeps getting in the way, and several other stories of love weave together, most but not all end happily .
Curtis began as a writer for such tv series as BLACKADDER, wrote the wonderful comedy THE TALL GUY(1989)before his breakout script FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (1994,directed by Mike Newell) ,BEAN (1997-A monster hit everywhere BUT the U.S.).,NOTTING HILL(1999),and the Bridget Jones movies.
I hope that the failure of PIRATE RADIO does not prevent Curtis from getting behind the camera again.