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The One And Only Review

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Newcastle, England. Kitchen installer Neil and footballer's wife Stevie fall in love. Several problems, though: they're both involved in loveless relationships, their best friends can't stop shagging each other and Neil is about to become adoptive father to a young African girl. Can true love run smooth on the banks of the Tyne?

★★★★★

How to make a successful British romcom: Rule #1 - cast Hugh Grant. And, as Mr. Hugh doesn't appear in The One And Only (the latest movie from East Is East producer, Leslee Udwin), it's clear that it's fighting an uphill struggle from the start.

A pity, really, as the script by Peter Flannery, who wrote Our Friends In The North, expertly combines pathos and broad humour. But his fellow OFITN alumni, Cellan Jones, betrays his TV origins with flat, unimaginative direction.

The performances are good, though Roxburgh - sporting a spot-on Geordie accent, not bad for an Aussie - and Waddell have a complete lack of chemistry, a distinct no-no for any rom-com.

While Newcastle is a perfectly lovely city, there's a reason why it has successfully framed bleak thrillers like 'Get Carter' and Stormy Monday rather than light romances. You'll be pleased to learn, though, that Chesney Hawkes' song of the same name doesn't feature. That's almost worth an extra star. Almost.

A good script is largely wasted in a movie which might have been better served cropping up on BBC2.