The Secret Laughter Of Women review

Unmarried Nigerian mother Nimi (Long) works in the south of France. Her own mother is keen for her to wed the local vicar, but Nimi's son Sammy (Roberts) has other ideas. The 8-year-old boy has just met English ex-pat writer Matthew (Firth), the creator of Sammy's idol, comic-strip action hero Saracen. Surely he'd make a much more suitable stepfather?

Schwabach's feature debut is a brightly coloured yet pedestrian love story, which meanders along until its crudely made climax. The fairytale relationship between Nimi and Matthew follows a disappointingly predictable trajectory, with Firth giving an anaemic performance in a poorly written role. For a more perceptive cross-cultural romance, rent My Son The Fanatic instead.

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