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I'll Be There review

So teenage (str)opera sensation Charlotte Church is looking to dust off her image, eh? To tap into the youth demographic and widen her appeal beyond frumpy fiftysomethings? Then - boy, oh boy - did she choose the wrong film to do it in.

Church plays Olivia, a Welsh teenager with a divine voice and smothering mother, Rebecca (Jemma Redgrave), who won't let her exploit it. Why? Because Olivia, unbeknownst to her, is the daughter of '80s bad-boy rock god Paul Kerr (Craig Ferguson, who also co-wrote and directed) and no daughter of Rebecca's is barrelling down that same hedonistic road to ruin.

Church, believe it or not, isn't the problem here. She's likeable enough and her acting's fine. The trouble lies in the movie's lack of prickliness: quaint, twee, safe, call it what you will, it's so out of touch, it's the equivalent of your dad dancing at a wedding. Olivia's as asexual as an amoeba, there's no hunk-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-valleys boyfriend, and the Still Crazy-esqe subplot involving a gigging granddad is just plain naff. Church reborn as cool? Not with this fuddy-duddy dud.

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