The Bromley Boys
Tragedy plus time equals comedy. So is the case with The Bromley Boys, based on author Dave Roberts’ memoir of supporting the worst football team in Britain. Not only that, but his story is also centred on the worst season they ever had. Said to be “based on real events (and some rumours)”, the film makes reference to the creative embellishments that make it such a warm, sweet crowd-pleaser. Whether the feature is historically accurate or not, it sure is lovely.
The movie follows a young Roberts (Game of Thrones alum Brenock O’Connor) as he supports the grass-roots team from the sidelines in the 1969-70 football season – always carrying a pair of boots with him in case they need a substitute – and his close involvement with the club’s players, senior leadership and other top supporters. Obviously, there’s a romance brewing at the centre of it all. The tale isn’t unfamiliar (the documentary Next Goal Wins still reigns as the greatest film about the worst football team) but originality isn’t important when the film succeeds in making you laugh.
The picture carries the tagline, “it only takes 90 minutes to fall in love,” but that wasn’t something realised in the editing process, as the feature becomes a little suffused with languor in its second act, where it chronicles a slow journey downhill for the club before the final third sets up the inevitable climax of the one match that will really influence the team’s future.
However, for a mainstream comedy (albeit an indie one), the film has a very appealing look. One good example of the interesting shot choices is at the start of the movie, where Dave and his father are framed behind barbed wire as they’re camping out somewhere, and the former excitedly celebrates England’s victory at the 1966 World Cup, foreshadowing the strain in their relationship caused by the boy’s obsession with football and his father’s stance against it.
It’s near impossible to dislike a film that has perfectly wholesome intentions. Earlier this year though, British cinemagoers were subject to the largely dreary Walk Like a Panther. With a lack of mawkishness and a better sense of humour, The Bromley Boys fills the void that the wrestling romp couldn’t. This middlebrow indie comedy is fine for any day of the week – and for anyone in the family.
The Bromley Boys is released nationwide on 1st June 2018.
Watch the trailer for The Bromley Boys here: