Sparkle review

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

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.

More info

Available platformsMovie

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, New Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Jack Shepherd. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.