London Film Review: ‘Hello Carter’

Anthony Wilcox makes an uncertain feature-helming debut with this low-key but contrived day-in-the-life comedy.

With:

Charlie Cox, Jodie Whittaker, Paul Schneider, Christian Cooke, Laura Donnelly, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Judy Parfitt, Antonia Thomas, Annabelle Wallis.

Seasoned assistant director Anthony Wilcox makes an uncertain feature-helming debut with London-set day-in-the-life comedy “Hello Carter,” loosely based on his 2011 short of the same name. Despite exec-producer oversight from distinguished pros Andrew Eaton and Michael Winterbottom, the pic suffers from a mismatch between its low-key charm and its contrived storyline. Charlie Cox convinces as a 30-year-old who has yet to find his way in life, and enjoys an easy chemistry with Jodie Whittaker as a dispirited office worker flung into his path. But it’s not enough: Today’s crowded market is likely to bid “Carter” a swift goodbye.

Homeless, jobless Carter (Cox) wants to track down the girlfriend who dumped him 11 months ago, deleting her Facebook account and changing her cell-phone number. As luck would have it, he finds himself on the tube with his ex’s washed-up Hollywood actor brother (Paul Schneider), in London on a personal matter. He’ll yield the digits, but demands Carter perform a favor — a mission that ends with the accidental kidnapping of a baby, and more besides. The DNA of Wilcox’s avowed inspirations, Scorsese’s antic “After Hours” and Winterbottom’s intimate “Wonderland,” is plain to see, but the genes don’t splice.

London Film Review: 'Hello Carter'

Reviewed at London Film Festival (Laugh), Oct. 15, 2013. Running time: 81 MIN.

Production:

(U.K.) A JLB Prods. presentation in association with Revolution Films of a JLB production. (International sales: Bankside, London.) Produced by Julian Bird, Fiona Neilson. Executive producers, George Karamanos, Michael Winterbottom, Andrew Eaton.

Crew:

Directed, written by Anthony Wilcox. Camera (color, HD), Andrew Dunn; editor, Dan Farrell; music, Andrew Raiher; music supervisor, Iain Cooke; production designers, Rebecca Rainford, Carly Reddin; art director, Gabrielle De Gersigny; set decorator, Tamsin Clarke; costume designer, Stephanie Collie; sound (Dolby Digital), William Whale; supervising sound editor, Jack Gillies; re-recording mixers, Richard Davey, Will Chadwick; visual effects supervisor, Marc Knapton; visual effects, the Brewery; stunt coordinator, Crispin Layfield; line producer, Phoebe Masters; assistant director, Alex Rendell; casting, Shaheen Baig, Aisha Walters.

With:

Charlie Cox, Jodie Whittaker, Paul Schneider, Christian Cooke, Laura Donnelly, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Judy Parfitt, Antonia Thomas, Annabelle Wallis.

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