By Don Simpson | November 14, 2012
Director: Simon Aboud
Writer: Simon Aboud
Starring: Craig Roberts, Imogen Poots, Kevin McKidd, Timothy Spall, Geoff Bell, Josef Altin, Anthony Welsh
Sam (Craig Roberts) is a bellhop, groomed in the personal styling of Harold and Maude-era Bud Cort, who dreams of a better life. The tyrannical owner (Geoff Bell) of the posh hotel where Sam works could care less if the bourgeois patrons love Sam; he seems intent upon riding Sam’s back, just waiting for Sam to screw up.
On the fateful day on which this particular story takes place, Sam is sent by the hotel’s owner on a very important errand. He must walk to a swank antique shop around the corner to get a watch band belonging to one of the hotel’s guests adjusted. Despite transporting a very expensive watch, Sam takes the task rather lightly. He stops off at a nearby cafe to grab a bite to eat where he meets the lovely Mary (Imogen Poots). Though Mary is a wee bit out of Sam’s league, he makes a few clumsy attempts to chat her up anyway. Coincidentally, Mary works at the very same antique shop where Sam is headed, leaving Sam in a very awkward position in which he must either admit that he is a lowly bellhop on an errand or lie and pretend that he is in a high ranking position in the entertainment industry. Of course Sam opts for the lie.
When Sam finally appears at the antique shop, he does not seem concerned at all about getting the watch band adjusted — his one and only priority is to score a date with Mary. But then a raging psychopath (Kevin McKidd) and goofy sidekick (Josef Altin) burst into the shop with guns-a-blazing. (Wait, did Guy Ritchie just hijack this film?) The two thieves are bumbling (and stammering) caricatures of sheer stupidity. Soon the shop is surrounded by the police and the thieves are trapped with no plan B. The thieves have one saving grace, a chance to negotiate a way out by using their three hostages — Sam, Mary and the shop owner (Timothy Spall).
Immaculately lensed by John Lynch (aided by stunning production design and art direction), writer-director Simon Aboud’s Comes A Bright Day looks and feels more like a commercial than a narrative film. The story itself is a far too simple, overly contrived feel good story: a hapless bellhop gets held hostage with two people who will change his life forever. (Cue nicely tied-up happy ending.) Everything else serves as a means to that end.
As much as I like Craig Roberts and Imogen Poots as actors — Roberts’ sole purpose is to lack self-confidence and be geeky, but not overwhelmingly so; while Poots just needs to stand around and be classically beautiful, like a modern day Grace Kelly. The acting and script are purely secondary, if that. Sam and Mary might as well just be portrayed by fashion models (which makes sense since Aboud’s wife is Mary McCartney), dressed to the nines, sporting fancy antique accessories.