Uncertainty can be an artist’s curse – and that rings particularly true for the title character in Benjamin, Simon Amstell’s “nouveau” romcom. The titular protagonist (Colin Morgan) is a young, awkward, London-based director at the cusp of his career when he meets Noah (Phénix Brossard), a delicate French musician who steals his heart with just a few off-key verses.
We meet Benjamin as he contemplates his ability to live up to expectations as a filmmaker whilst preparing for the premiere of his second feature. The majority of the movie continues as it begins – with the director bouncing back and forth between ideas and second-guessing himself as he rants on about reasons why things may or may not work out.
Then, Benjamin spots Noah singing on stage at a launch party for a new chair in one of many scenes riddled with satirical commentary on the modern art world. When Noah comes into his life, he brings forth a sense of stability in the unknown – a feeling with which Benjamin isn’t all-too-familiar.
Their romantic escapades bring forth a new light into our protagonist, but nonetheless, it’s clear that he has a knack for self-sabotage. One particular incident sees him meeting Noah’s parents for the first time when he spots his ex-boyfriend at the bar of the restaurant in which they’re dining. For some misguided reason, Benjamin decides to call him over to say hello. When the ex-boyfriend (expectedly) makes a scene, he runs after him in a move that most of the audience almost audibly cringed through.
Much like how its subject mirrors his own reality and romances in his movies, Benjamin is undoubtedly a reflection of Amstell’s own witty character. A sort of quarter-life coming-of-age tale, the feature is filled with moments of intense reflection and deeply funny mishaps to which many of this generation’s creatives can certainly relate.
Benjamin is released in select cinemas on 15th March 2019.
Watch the trailer for Benjamin here: