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Daydream Believer Review

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Nell is a horse-lover who's so obsessed with fillies that she imagines she is one when she's stressed out. She meets shady polo player after backing into his car.

★★★★

Wholesome teenager Nell (Miranda Otto) has more than a few problems : she’s a fairly hopeless, but nonetheless hopeful actress/singer ; a dreadful driver; and is receiving psychiatric treatment for an embarassing personal problem; she’s so besotted with horses that in times of stress she imagines she is one.

Enter Martin Kemp as Digby — a polo-playing, slightly shady showbiz impressario and stud farmer — as Nell fails an audition for an under-invested show he’s producing, then backs into his very expensive car. What follows isn’t entirely obvious (thanks largely to a couple of ludicrous sub-plots involving her working at a hen night strip club and a misplaced jar of horse semen) but plot predictability is equalled only monotoned perfomances, a cringe-worthy script and flat direction.

Perhaps most dreadful of all though is the physical manifestation of Nell’s horse phases — a Monty Pythonesque cantering and head-shaking whinnying — meaning the central joke of this apparent comedy expects an audience to laugh at what they’ve set up as mental illness.

Daydream Believer never really had a chance.