Aug 10, 2022
Richard Rowden, Marie Everett
As Britain swelters in yet another heatwave this summer, there will be many people looking for a getaway to some exotic foreign location. The chance to escape Britain’s heat for the inexplicably cooler heat of another country, and lounge by a pool is irresistible. So, at this time of year more than any other, we empathise with Jackie (Marie Everett) when she discovers that her partner Sam (Richard Rowden) has swapped Bali for the Lake District for a romantic time away.
The writings on the wall for the couple at the centre of ‘The Show’, as it becomes plain to see within a couple of minutes that they aren’t going to have their happily ever after. The undercurrent of animosity and distance between the pair grows - Sam is preoccupied with his phone, Jackie is unwilling to embrace nature, and they’re constantly undermining each other with little sarcastic digs. Therefore, the destruction of their relationship comes as no surprise, removing the majority of tension from the situation.
The fact that Jackie’s sister has recently been dumped by her partner of nine years and is staying with the not-so happy couple is merely foreshadowing the impending doom of Jackie and Sam’s relationship, but the apparent seriousness of the subject matter is undermined by what can only be described as a disastrous choice of soundtrack. The arguments and crumbling of the relationship are paired with a soundtrack not too dissimilar from those old 60s comedies - with this destroying any semblance of tonal consistency.
The film appears uncertain of its true identity - caught between a comedy and a drama, and ultimately ending up as neither, just a conglomeration of good parts undermined by one large bad part. That’s because everything else is good, or at least solid, with the acting from Everett and Rowden standing out the most. The two have good chemistry and appear comfortable going toe to toe with each other, trading snide remarks.
The direction is also solid, capturing the picturesque beauty of the Lake District, and also surprising us with a heavily-hinted twist at the conclusion. It’s a shame, therefore, that the film lacks an identity, and is confused with what it wants to be - there are moments where you want to reach out, and gently nudge in the right direction, to guide it to a respectable four-star rating.
However, that’s something no one can do, and so, despite its obvious charm and numerous good qualities, ‘The Show’ falls short of the mark, instead imprinting only its own confusion on the viewer.