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The Punk and the Princess Review

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David, a street kid, falls for rich American Rachel. Their relationship is condemned by friends and parents alike. When David murders a man in self-defence, he goes on the run from his tough policeman father, but Rachel has to find him first.

★★★★

Laudable though it may be, the fact that Mike Sarne chose to make this adaptation of Gideon Sam’s cult novel with a young, inexperienced crew does not excuse its amateurish indulgence and hyperbolic dramatics. Rapidly establishing itself, via the most obvious of visual clues, as a “contemporary” reworking of Romeo and Juliet — which here means driving Escorts and taking Ecstasy — the plot centres around David (Creed-Miles), a young London punk in love with Rachel (Hadaway), a nouveau riche American with a worringly pugilistic ex-boyfriend. Grasping every opportunity to ram home its overblown Shakespearian theme — at one point our modern day Romeo memorably entreats Rachel to “jump straight onto my willy” — the curious choice of Punks versus Teds (who all speak with drama school accents) as a backdrop seems strangely dated and irrelevant as a vehicle for a modern love story. In addition, there are the additional irritations of an entirely unneccesary voice-over and a multitude of smug cinematic references, presumably intended to lend a drop of credibility to the uninspired proceedings. Featuring some of the most unforgivably trite “street” dialogue, contrived working-class relationships and one-dimensional performances from its two leads, this really is little more than a glib teen angst movie with pretentions to be something greater. Perhaps if it had been made a dozen years previously it would have had more impact on the teenage and twentysomething audience it’s clearly aimed at, but post-Slacker, it’s difficult to see exactly where the appeal lies of this strangely dated and redundant attempt at chronicling modern love.

With its laughable dialogue and ridiculous Shakespearian pretensions, this film is some way from being the cool piece it would dearly love to be.