Dispiriting ensemble romantic comedy will require excessively indulgent local auds to make any coin.

The first of several British features benefiting from a world preem at this year’s Edinburgh fest, ensemble love story “Fast Romance” sets the bar of achievement dispiritingly low. Optimistically pitched as a “Scottish ‘Love, Actually,’ ” pic will require excessively indulgent local auds to make any coin when it rolls into Scottish Cineworld sites starting July 1. Hardly an enticing item for foreign markets on any platform, even in the rest of Blighty, pic has dim prospects for further exposure beyond local tube outings.

Lonely mailman and shoot-‘em-up videogame addict Gordy (William Ruane, from Ken Loach’s “Sweet Sixteen”) moons over Nadine (Jo Freer), who works the counter at the cafe owned by her close-knit Scottish-Sicilian family. The paths of this pair and five other loveless Glaswegians collide at a speed-dating event, from which spirals the film’s multiple crisscrossing storylines. TV-soap-level incident, bland soundtrack, miscued comedy moments, overly telegraphed reaction shots by a not-ready-for-primetime cast and a general lack of directorial flair from veteran fight coordinator Carter Ferguson are the chief demerits. Ruane, likably watchable, is a modest saving grace, and photogenic Glasgow locations are attractively presented by lenser Ross Gerry.

Fast Romance

U.K.

Production

An Icklefix presentation. (International sales: Ickleflix, Glasgow.) Produced by Amanda Verlaque. Executive producer, Carter Ferguson. Directed by Carter Ferguson. Screenplay, Debbie May, James McCreadie.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Ross Gerry; editors, Fiona Cairns, Derek Aire, Ferguson; music, Gordon Dougall, Nigel Dunn, Stephen Wright; music supervisors, Dunn, Wright; art director, Craig Reid; set decorator, Lindsey Johnstone; costume designer, Sarah Michael. Reviewed on DVD, London, June 16, 2011. (In Edinburgh Film Festival.) Running time: 93 MIN.

With

William Ruane, Jo Freer, Derek Munn, Lesley Hart, Lawrence Crawford, Lynne McKelvey, Michael Howell.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more