When Saturday Comes Review

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y Muir is a hard-drinking brewery worker in the city of Sheffield, with an arrogant lack of respect for authority. Jimmy is spotted by Ken Jackson, whilst playing for his pub team. Ken is the manager of Hallam football club, a local non-league team. After continually playing brilliantly for Hallam, Jimmy gets offered a trial at Sheffield United.


Just as no one could ever mistake a pint of bitter (which is, in fact, the original title) for a glass of champagne, no one will ever mistake When Saturday Comes for anything other than a gritty story of gritty northern folk whose lives revolve around breweries, mines and football pitches. The opening panorama is of Yorkshire’s Steel City Sheffield (never likely to be mistaken for St. Tropez) and the film quickly lays its cards on the table with soccer team hero Jimmy Muir (Bean), whose story this is, having rows with his foreman, his father, and making a pass at the pretty new wages clerk Annie Doherty (Lloyd, with the unlikliest Irish accent of the year to date).
The subplots involving Muir’s relationships with his father (John McEnery), brother Russell (Craig Kelly) and, of course, Doherty, are all explored with some finesse but they all take second place to Muir’s own ambitions and the time he spends with his mates drinking or kicking a football around.
As hard as it tries to be a piece of gritty social commentary, this is always chiefly a film about football — all those who think Gary Lineker is just the bloke that advertises crisps just aren’t going to relate. For footie fans, however, rest assured that When Saturday Comes is(ital) entertaining. Postlethwaite is thoroughly convincing as Muir’s trainer and Bean clearly relished his brief chance to play for his boyhood heroes Sheffield United. Laddish for sure, but touchingly human at times and with a leap-out-of-your-seat ending that is every bit as air-punchingly gratifying as it is predictable

No frills footballing comedy with a charismatic central turn.