Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution review

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It’s low Marx all round for this ideologically suspect Britcom about a dysfunctional ’60s family who swap West Yorkshire for East Germany, only to discover that life behind the Iron Curtain isn’t quite what Lenin promised. Yes comrades, it’s The Lives Of Others replayed as broad farce, most of it emanating from Catherine Tate’s eponymous hausfrau and her accident-prone attempts to sneak her brood back across the border, right under the noses of the Stasi. Director Billie Eltringham milks her preposterous scenario for some obvious fish-out-of-water laughs in the early get-go. Around the film’s halfway mark, however, she makes the fatal mistake of suddenly taking things seriously – a move that’s hard to pull off with a set-piece involving a balloon escape over a games meet and an irritating heroine who’s really not worth the bovver.

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