It's 1973 in Cemetery Junction, a Reading suburb. Three working class lads, best friends, are coming of age. Freddie wants to rise above his station, taking a job selling life insurance, wearing a suit and tie. Snork works at the railway station and wants a girlfriend some day. Bruce talks of leaving but seems on track to work at a factory, drink and fight, and become like his dad, in front of the telly with beer on hand; and he's trying the patience of the police officer who gets him out of jams. Freddie's job leads the lads toward a few small changes. He runs across a childhood friend, Julie, his boss's daughter who's engaged to the firm's top seller. Can the lads break out?
I have watched this movie twice, the latest being on .
Cemetery Junction is the latest movie written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Both men rose to fame for their hit TV sitcom The Office, a satirical pseudodocumentary set to typical nine-to-five office job. Although both wrote, directed and produced the hugely successful series, it was Ricky Gervais who received the most attention as he starred as the shows main protagonist David Brent.
They both continued to work together on numerous projects, however, Ricky Gervais tried his hand at Hollywood. He starred Ghost Town, which was quite well received overall, and most recently he wrote, directed and starred in The Invention of Lying a movie which I thought had great potential but unfortunately fell flat in the final act.
However, Cemetery Junction goes back to Ricky Gervais’ and Stephen Merchant’s roots, teaming up again in both the directorial and writing departments. Set in 1970s England the story follows three friends as they waste their lives away in a small rural town. The movie is very much a “coming of age” story as each of the main three characters deal with their families, their current situation of dead-end jobs and ultimately the decisions which’ll shape their future.
Cemetery Junction is not only based on my memories of my most formative years but it feeds on the most fundamental things in the making of a man: family, economics, the time and place you happened to be plonked in. Even though the movie is a fiction, the values, themes and characters are based on my memory of growing up in Reading in the early 70’s.
Ricky Gervais on the Cemetery Junction soundtrack by Ricky Gervais
The movie oozes cool, from two of the three main characters to the great soundtrack – even though the movie is set in a depressingly upper-class picture-postcode English town. All three of the main characters were extremely well written, each having their charm and flaws, each given enough space to develop their own paths as well as working well together – these were best friends and the movie showed this really well.
The acting was top notch, I didn’t have a problem with any of the characters. There were some smaller parts which injected comedy in to the story but were not overly used – this movie is a drama, not a comedy. The movie itself was well filmed and gave a great view of the 70s lifestyle and the troubles families faced during the time.
This is an extremely strong British movie, something which when Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant pair up together seems like a certainty. It was great to see such a strong movie set in English suburbia.