I don’t want to harp too much on ‘Hampstead,’ because it is one of those rare things: a movie written for older people. And, well, i am getting older and do appreciate the effort. And there are a lot of things to like about the film, directed by Joel Hopkins. There’s Diane Keaton, in an almost signature role for her – slightly neurotic, kind of bumbling, chic in menswear. Brendan Gleeson, as Donald, has low-key charm. Sadly, though, the two actors have no chemistry with each other, and try as I might, I just couldn’t warm up to whatever they are serving.
Donald’s character is inspired by Harry Hallowes, who famously squatted at Hampstead Heath Park and won the deed for his square space there. It was a celebrated case in London in 2007. That might have been an interesting premise in itself, and why Hopkins framed the story as a rom-com is a question I have. But, as I said, the film is pleasant enough.
I guess I should note that this film was produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, so I am guessing this film will not get a major release in the states. I don’t really know if I would consider that as a great loss for the film, but such is the case.