Hello Carter never really even approaches the desired quotient of comedy.
With the lead such a committed wet blanket, it's largely left to Schneider to provide the laughs and sadly, he sleepwalks through in such a fashion that his jet-lagged character probably appreciated the nap. It would be easy to blame the performers, however their underdeveloped and poorly penned roles don’t make life especially easy. The romance fares little better. Jenny (Jodie Whittaker) meets Carter at a job interview in the opening scenes and then becomes embroiled in the escapades later that night, but it never becomes especially clear what about him so attracts her. The relationship is admirably played for realism with nicely observed awkwardness; misjudged jokes and fleeting glances.
Despite Whittaker proving a reliable foil, what could be an affable courtship is so understated that it fails to convince at all. First-time director Anthony Wilcox does a fair job of capturing his story visually with lensing by distinguished cinematographer Andrew Dunn lending proceedings a bit of class. Regrettably, Wilcox may be better off sticking to direction as it is ultimately his script here, stretched from a previously successful short of the same name, that gives all of Hello Carter's other aspects a veritable mountain to climb.
The 57th BFI London Film Festival takes place from 9-20 October, 2013. For more of our LFF 2013 coverage, simply follow this link.