Jamie Gilliam is a bright young rising star with Castlefield City, a first division club on the verge of promotion to the premiership. When lapdancing student Sharon goes out to a club with... See full summary »
Real life is much more interesting than this average product
Jamie Gilliam is a bright young rising star with Castlefield City, a first division club on the verge of promotion to the premiership. When lapdancing student Sharon goes out to a club with friends she bumps into him and ends up going back to his place. She wakes up the next day feeling ill and not being able to remember how she got naked in his bed. When she later goes to the police charging rape no-one believes her and the club settles with her privately to keep her quiet. But is Jamie as clean cut as he appears?
It's hard to believe that this film was actually written a few years ago. It screened at a time when the newspapers were full of allegations about a gang rape of a woman by 7 men, most of who were alleged to be premiership footballers. The makers of this film probably couldn't believe their luck when their film benefited from being topical. It is clear from the period that the writer was inspired by the trials (literally) of Leeds Utd - a subplot involves a player accused of a race related fight (just like several Leeds players were accused of). The fact that the Castlefield City badge looks similar to Leeds' is just another pointer, not to mention the fact that the players are all pretty young. However the plot doesn't really do the pitch justice.
The film was pitched as being about the pressures of football on young men and the pressure of the sudden excessive wealth they achieve. However in reality it is just a sort of melodrama that uses these themes as it's framework but does nothing with them. The film uses a lot of it's time on characters and bits of subplot that don't really help the central story and then it also messes up the central plot. It does this by making it almost some sort of thriller rather than a drama - an attempt that it fails to achieve. The downside of these people's lives is lost and instead Jamie is painted as the type of character he is, regardless of pressures or profession.
The cast don't really manage to make anything with the film. Doughty plays Jamie far too sweet for most of the film and then just 180o switches the character as and when the film demands it. Tremarco is OK but her character is drawn too wide and she is just dumped when the thriller/mystery side of the film takes over from the drama. Support is OK but nobody really excels him or herself or stands out from the average material.
Overall this film really cashed in on it's fortunate timing: the fact that the tabloids were rife with tales of not only footballers and rape, but also generally with tales of young footballers' lives showing cracks - whether it was related to drink, drug tests or whatever. This film failed to really bring any of that to the screen and just came off as a topical drama/thriller/melodrama with nothing to really add. I watched it and came away with the opinion that the stuff the tabloids give us everyday is a lot more interesting that this half-baked stuff.