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With Jim Sabatini

Starter for 10

Starter for 10
James Corden, Domininc Cooper, Alice Eve and James McAvey

Rated: PG-13  for sexual content, language and a scene of drug use
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: February 23, 2007 Released by: Picturehouse

This engaging, coming-of-age picture has social commentary and an endearing performance from James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, The Chronicles of Narnia).

McAvoy's Brian in Tom Vaughan's Starter for 10 lives in Essex in 1985 and goes to Bristol University. The nerdy fellow leaves behind longtime pals from youth (James Corden, Domininc Cooper). He's into quiz contests thanks to his late dear pop and gets onto the "University Challenge" team (think of a college "Jeopardy" show or "As Schools Match Wits").

Alice Eve provides allure as the blonde Alice and Rebecca Hall endows Rebecca with a free-spirited alchemy that tempts Brian as fame and love are within reach.

McAvoy handles the romantic interludes very favorably and induces viewer empathy as he works out of his inexperience and childhood. Vaughn depicts the relationships and interactions with wit, some surprise, and an edginess. It isn't really that indelible, given the silly nature surrounding moral and political issues within reach.

While not thematically as resonant as it should be, Starter for 10, while a bit sketchy like at least one of the supporting players, rides on a certain emotional bliss thanks to McAvoy and an 80's soundtrack that Adam Sandler might consider if he was a big star in Britain.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Starter for 10       C+       C+

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