The New Year’s Eve meeting of four suicidal Londoners at the top of a high-rise tower is the jumping off point for comedy-drama A Long Way Down, adapted from the Nick Hornby bestseller. Actually, none of the ‘Topper House Four’ goes over the edge; instead, it’s the viewer who loses the will to live as director Pascal Chaumeil and screenwriter Jack Thorne painfully fail to match the book’s darkly funny, bittersweet mood. What worked on the page seems clumsily contrived on screen, as the quartet – a disgraced talkshow host (Pierce Brosnan), a kooky rich kid (Imogen Poots), a failed musician (Aaron Paul) and a depressed single mother (Toni Collette) with a severely disabled adult son – band themselves into an impromptu support group, vowing to stay alive at least until Valentine’s Day. The cast give it their best shot, but end up giving performances that are as woefully clunky as the film itself.
Certificate 15. Runtime 96 mins. Director Pascal Chaumier.
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