Rom-Com About A Postman. From Peckham. With Superpowers
Everything about SuperBob is unlikely. It’s a movie about a postman from Peckham with super powers. It grew out of a barely-there short film with the help of the producer who made The Usual Suspects. It cost around a million quid but is more cinematic than most multiplex fare out there (and frankly it pisses all over Man Of Steel). And unlikeliest of all: it’s a British rom-com that’s actually both sweet and funny.
The film stars comic Brett Goldstein, who you might have seen on TV shows Hoff The Record and Derek. He’s also one of the best stand-up comics around. His Burning Man show was one of the true highlights at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, a taboo-trampling look at hippies in the desert and drugs (and on its way to London soon, he assures us).
In SuperBob, he plays Robert Kenner, a nerdy man-child who gets struck by a meteor then finds he has powers that might be more trouble than they’re worth. Not helping matters is his manipulative boss at the MOD, played by Catherine Tate, who is determined to squeeze all the use she can out of him no matter what the cost to his dignity. The story focuses on Bob’s attempt to have a quiet day off so he can sort out his paperwork and perhaps his love life too, both of which only get more complicated the more he tries to fix them.
Goldstein, who also co-wrote the film, told Londonist: “We went through so many versions of the script trying to get it right, but in the end we found ourselves coming back to the short we made. There was a sweetness there with this character trying to take a day off: basically it was a story about a lonely man.”
Director Jon Drever gets the blend of cringe-inducing comedy and wayward melancholy right and also achieves the (unlikely) feat of making south London look like New York's lost twin. The location is one of the characters in the film as Goldstein says: “Our director lives in Peckham and he wanted the film to be a love letter to the area. You see a lot of representations of London on film and you usually get the Gherkin or the London Eye — and it looks great — but it’s not really how normal people live. We were really lucky with the weather: the sunshine makes Peckham looks surprisingly cinematic.”
This may be a small film but like its main character it has power and a lot of heart and we believe it can fly.
SuperBob is in cinemas and available online from 16 October. Watch the trailer here:
Last Updated 13 October 2015