Thursday, June 17, 2010

Looking for Eric (Rhoades)

“Looking for Eric” Is Fantasy Football
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

My college advertising professor compared my writing to James Thurber’s. Turns out, Thurber had worked for him, writing advertising copy. We all have to make a living.

Thurber was noted for his witty cartoons and humorous short stories, the most notable being “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” It dealt with fantasy and the sometime need to escape from our humdrum day-to-day existence.

“Looking for Eric” – the British footballer film that’s playing at the Tropic Cinema – has a similar theme.
Football, in this case, is soccer. And a postman named Eric is a fanatic of the sport.

This, despite the fact that his life is falling apart. He shares a small apartment with his teenage children, a son with connections to gangsters, another who is disrespectful, and a daughter with a squalling child. His ex-wife leaves him feeling like a failure. He’s been humiliated by an embarrassing posting on YouTube. He contemplates suicide.

But then he turns to a poster on his wall, a promotion featuring footballer Eric Cantona. His hero. This international soccer champion is known for his philosophical utterances. And in a moment of hallucination Eric Cantona steps out of the poster and into our dweeb’s life.

His new fantasy friend advises him to surprise himself. And he does. Turning the table on the gangsters, exacting some YouTube revenge of his own, and picking up a few nifty soccer moves, our postman redeems himself.

Eric Cantona stars as himself. He has a bit of the acting bug, it seems. And Steve Evets, former bassist with The Fall, shows his own acting chops as the fantasizing postman.

Written by Paul Laverty (and directed by Ken Loach), “Looking for Eric” is a darker vision than might have flowed from the pen of James thurber. But the theme is the same: sometimes the imagination must save us from ourselves.
[from Solares Hill]

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