4 Girls, 3 Days, 2 Cities, 1 Chance…and no idea. Noel Clarkes writing and directing of films like Adulthood and Kidulthood have won him many admirers and do show some promise, but this is a self-indulgent vanity project. It does have flashes of talent but all too often they get lost in a plot that is just daft and writing that is at times laugh out loud silly. Adulthood at times resembled an episode of Grange Hill, and this suffers from similar problems.
The film tells of four close female friends talking about the usual things boys, snogging and when or if they are going to have sex for the first time. It then splits into four sections, each telling their part in an elaborate plot involving a diamond heist, a drop-off in a supermarket and various gangster characters.
First up is Shannon (Ophelia Lovibond), the most fragile of the four and the only one who has had sex already. She is a painfully shy misfit, who gets more introspective when her mother suddenly leaves home. With all of her friends apparently ignoring her she storms into a supermarket and accidentally picks up a packet of crisps that contains stolen diamonds. She is saved from a street gang by a bizarrely cast Michelle Ryan, who is some sort of international hit girl.
Then we follow the posh one, Cassandra (Tamsin Egerton), as she goes to New York to try and get into music school and also lose her virginity to an internet hunk. Its here that the film loses pace and interest Egerton is a generic posh rich girl and its hard to empathise with her even when she is in peril. Her story does contain a couple of cameos, from Kevin Smith and Mandy Patinkin, neither of which work particularly well.
By the time we get to Kerrys story (Shanika Warren-Markland) the plot is starting to both unravel and bore, and when she gets locked in a panic room with her girlfriend the pace is lost. Finally we complete the plot through Emma Roberts Joanne who, like Kerrys, has a troublesome half-sibling, one too many. There are car chases, daft plot twists and cheesy go girl exchanges, yet there are some pluses along the way.
The biggest one is the performance of Lovibond as the painfully gawky Shannon, carrying a terrible secret and only able to express herself through her art. She does also draw one of the few intentional laughs, when a street boy asks her out in language so baffling she just frowns at him. As the film opens with her threatening suicide it does at least make you stay until the end. Emma Roberts too does her best in a part that makes no sense, and has the same warm presence she showed in Nancy Drew. Her budding romance with a supermarket co-worker is charming and cheesy in equal measure.
Clarkes directing is all over the place, but he does at least seem to have an eye for performances, but his script needed drastic re-writing. Casting himself as a brooding, sexy supermarket boss is a mistake, and he also has a very leering eye four of his female actresses are seen in their underwear for no real reason, and two of them are scantily clad for an entire sequence in a panic room. Shame on you, young man.
Overall verdict: Bizarre misfire, too adult for the teen audience it deserves and too silly for anyone over 21, but with some promising performances.
Reviewer: Mike Martin