A schoolteacher rides naked on a horse through town to win a bet in dire Brit romantic comedy “Lady Godiva,” a contempo reinterpretation of the medieval legend about the noblewoman who went bareback in every sense. Bankrolled to the tune of £1.4 million ($2.7 million) by private investors, 21-year-old, self-taught writer-director Vicky Jewson shows little helming talent here, and less as a scribe. Opening locally Jan. 25 on 20 prints or so, “Godiva” is likely to have bolted from most theatrical stables by Feb. 1.
Opening sequence recounts how, in ye olde times, the original Lady Godiva (Phoebe Thomas, from Brit TV drama series “Holby City”) invented equine-equipped streaking. Action jumps to modern Oxford where art teacher Jemima (Thomas again) falls in love with playboy horse breeder Michael (Matthew Chambers). Course of true love duly runs choppy until an ill-conceived plot point precipitates the climactic, clothes-free canter. Cast acquits itself with some dignity, despite the dialogue’s triteness, and key craft contributions are pro, including that by crack co-d.p. Agnes Godard who lensed the medieval sequence in France. (On version caught, her name was misspelt as “Goddard.”)