Murder takes a holiday: Hit the road with killer British comedy 'Sightseers'
Not immediately familiar with that poem? Well, the musical version of "Jerusalem" is so popular in Britain that it was incorporated into the opening ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics. If there's a downside to Sightseers, it's that some of its Brit-specific quirks might be lost on American viewers. It's funny enough even if you don't have an ear for regional accents (or the ability to sort out the posh ones), an appreciation for Daily Mail jokes, or the slightest knowledge of caravan culture. But the humor in Sightseers, probably more than Kill List and definitely more than exec producer Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead (2004), is aimed more at the hometown crowd.
Still, any Yank with a wicked streak will appreciate Sightseers' deliciously deviant, decidedly deadpan point of view, and its take on class wars is obvious enough to translate into haughty vs. tacky. If the pairing of Tina and Chris is a disaster waiting to happen, Lowe and Oram — both British TV stars who developed their characters over a period of years — create comedy gold, with some of the more luridly awkward sex scenes in recent memory. Though Oram got the funniest of Sightseers' four promotional posters (tag line: "Death has a ginger beard") Lowe, in particular, makes the most of Tina's little-girl-lost shtick, eager to please her man but most certainly not to be fucked with.
SIGHTSEERS opens Fri/31 in Bay Area theaters.