Clever Comedy Bucks Britcom Trend
Someone Else is an excellent pathos-laden comedy, which will come as a revelation to audiences expecting just another Britcom. Director Col Spector tells me how a short film inspired this razor-sharp ...
Someone Else is an excellent pathos-laden comedy, which will come as a revelation to audiences expecting just another Britcom. Director Col Spector tells me how a short film inspired this razor-sharp take on male neuroses.
How did the idea for Someone Else come together?
Col Spector: It was written with Stephen [Mangan] in mind. We’d done a short film together called New Year’s Eve, starring Keira Knightley, four years before and there’s a kind of re-working of that short in the film.
It’s a very intimate, personal comedy. How much of it was based on your own experiences?
CS: A little bit of my own experiences but it was a lot of observations of people I know. Often in romantic comedies the guys aren’t what men are really like. I wanted to show guys that we don’t normally see in films and make things very realistic.
That leads to a lot of horribly recognisable but funny moments…
CS: That’s my kind of comedy rather than standard gags, it’s a comedy of recognition. I like the lines that guys come up with when they’re trying to break up. The way they try and not upset the other person, try not to hurt them too much. There’s a dark comedy in that.
How did you coax this fantastic performance out of Stephen?
CS: I really didn’t need to direct him a lot and I think it benefits the film. If he improvised a little bit too much I’d bring it back a bit but generally I didn’t direct him too much. He just knew it, he got it and I didn’t want the performance to seem forced.
How do you think the film differs from other British romantic comedies?
I think it’s not gag-based so the humour comes out of these awkward situations with the humour driven by the characters or the situation. I think it’s more of a grown-up comedy than a broad comedy, certainly more real.Someone Else is showing on the 20 and 22 August at the Cameo.
Winners of EIFF 2014’s short film awards and two of its documentary premieres have been nominated for 2015 BAFTAs.