Review: ‘Comfort and Joy’

In Comfort and Joy director-scripter Bill Forsyth again sets up a wacko scenario about zany, off-center characters.

In Comfort and Joy director-scripter Bill Forsyth again sets up a wacko scenario about zany, off-center characters.

But evincing much laughter over an unexpectedly funny couple living together, Forsyth abruptly switches into a more conventional plot.

Pic opens with a well-dressed kleptomaniac (Eleanor David) lifting goods at a department store, followed by a man (Bill Paterson). It turns out he’s her lover and aware of her stealing. They return home, make love off camera and after a meal she announces she’s leaving.

Depressed, he adopts a stiff upperlip attitude and goes to his job as an MOR radio station early morning deejay. He then becomes, innocently at first, a go-between as two warring Mafia families fight for territorial control of selling ice cream by van.

David and Paterson are terrific together and almost every line between them is a joy. From the point she departs with no explanation the pic flashes a sparky moment or two, but it doesn’t reach the high spots again.

Comfort and Joy

UK

Production

Kings Road. Director Bill Forsyth; Producer Davina Belling, Clive Parsons; Screenplay Bill Forsyth; Camera Chris Menges; Editor Michael Ellis; Music Mark Knopfler;; Art Director Adrienne Atkinson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1984. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Bill Paterson Roberto Bernardi Eleanor David Clare Grogan Patrick Malahide Rikki Fulton
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