Sparkle review

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Brit-filmmakers Neil Hunter and Tom Hunsinger follow their superb Lawless Heart with a more conventional tale of tangled love. Shaun Evans plays Sam Sparks, a feckless chancer who moves to a new friend’s (Bob Hoskins) spare London flat with his club singer mum (Lesley Manville). Sam’s blond ambition leads him into bed with his PR-company boss (Stockard Channing), but when he falls for a younger woman, Kate (Amanda Ryan), he winds up in a proper pickle. The set-up recalls Heart’s multi-stranded format but doesn’t unfold as persuasively: Kate’s gay housemate (Anthony Head) is stock material, Sam is too charmless to care about and the Isle Of Man locations barely pass for London. Thank heavens, then, for Hoskins, Manville and Channing, whose weathered sparkle is enough to satisfy none-too-demanding rom-com requirements.

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