Twenty One Review

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"I'm not looking for intimacy and all that jazz. I'm looking for a straightforward fuck." Thus Patsy Kensit's Katie - writer/director Don Boyd's notion of contemporary maidenhood - sets the tone for this Alfie-ish exploration of her character's sex life and times. Kensit, pretty as a picture, self-assured and rather engagingly sassy, is fine as the young adventuress seeking her way in the world. But the character doesn't really add up.

Despite her frank, blas‚ soliloquies to camera on the uses and uselessness of men, she promptly falls in love with, and ministers futilely to, a grubby, raggedy junkie who can't get it up. Apparently from boredom or whimsy she simultaneously engages in a detached , by-the-manual affair with a lacklustre toff. Her unlikely best friends and confidantes are a Jamaican musician she loves platonically and a frightfully hooray, madcap gal. Her parents (the excellent Jack Shepherd and Susan Wooldridge) don't seem to go with each other or with her, either.

And for all her candid demeanour, it is never quite clear what it is she wants, thinks or feels. While a 21-year-old might be forgiven for not having found direction or the meaning of life, her observations while sitting on the toilet or dressing or undressing are depressingly slender of drama, insight or humour. Katie has pluck, but she doesn't seem to have hopes, dreams, aspirations or a whole lot of fun. And in its lingering on the Kensit form engaged in usually private functions, the piece definitely smacks of an ageing male's drool over a 21-year-old woman, which will doubtless please the voyeur contingent.