Buddy's Song Review

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Roger Daltrey plays an aging Teddy Boy who interferes in his teenage son's rock career. If only he'd succeeded.


If you ever watch afternoon schools television, you might have seen a series called Buddy, adapted from Nigel Hinton's 'young adult' book, with Roger Daltrey as an ageing teddy boy whose drainpipe jeans and quiff embarass his teenage son. Now, for all of those who didn't catch the original, here's a film sequel, adapted from Nigel Hinton's follow-up novel.

Set in cinematic Slough, this follows Buddy (Hawkes), named after his Dad's idol, as he goes through his spotty adolescent whingeing git phase. Terry (Daltrey) goes to jail for not ratting on his crooked mate Michael Elphick, and Mum (Duce) leaves him for a computer yuppie. When Tel gets out, he forces Buddy to join a band doing r'n'b covers in pubs and at weddings, whereas what he really wants to do is write meaningful songs about how miserably teenage he is and play them on an electric organ with a garage band so authentically awful that I thought the film might conceivably be striving for a spot of realism.

But no, suddenly the band takes off, makes a poncing-about-in-a-junkyard video (again with no trace of irony) and is on the point of doing a record deal. The only problem is that the sharp suits and mixers in the studio want to dump poor old Dad and bring in professional management. So, will Terry stand in the way of his son's happiness and success? If you're still awake by that point, you're a better man than most, because Buddy's Song is fairly excruciating in its mix of Children's Film Foundation teenagery (plus a flash of tits to suggest maturity) and dodgy old British acting. Daltrey is evidently so into the '50s that he forces everyone he knows to act just as woodenly as if they were in an Edgar Wallace Presents 'B' picture, and every single dramatic crisis is a contrived damp squib.

For a moment, as the music biz barracudas home in on the obviously no-hope band, the film threatens to work. Then, it's back on the heap again.