4.9/10
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Elephant Juice (1999)

Billy is a single twenty-something. His friends are concerned and are determined to help him find a partner. Handsome artist Will suggests he join him in the delights of clandestine direct ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jules
...
Billy
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Will
Daniela Nardini ...
Daphne
...
Frank
...
Dodie (as Kimberly Williams)
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Graham
...
George
...
Kathy
Rebecca Palmer ...
Aileen
James Thornton ...
Rock
...
Janet
Gary Sefton ...
Boy in Supermarket
Amelia Lowdell ...
Girl in Supermarket
Sharon Bower ...
Restaurant Woman
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Storyline

Billy is a single twenty-something. His friends are concerned and are determined to help him find a partner. Handsome artist Will suggests he join him in the delights of clandestine direct debit sex. Will's fiance Jules sets him up with a blind date. However, Billy has fallen in lust with Dodie a gorgeous blonde who works in his local coffee shop. Jules is having the usual qualms about getting married unaware that Will is paying for sex and carrying on an affair with her best friend Daphne. When Daphne has a crisis the friends gather at the hospital and find out a little more about each other than they bargained for. There are no secrets between friends. It all comes out in the end.

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Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

22 September 2000 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Kolmenkympin villitys  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film had the worst test screening scores in the history of Miramax Films, which led them to shelve the film and never release it in the US. See more »

Soundtracks

Ordinary Joe
Performed by Terry Callier
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User Reviews

 
Below average
24 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

Elephant Juice comes from the pen of Amy Jenkins, creator of television series This Life, and while it isn't good, it's not all-bad.

It is a longstanding cliché that British television writers can't write for the big screen and think small. Jenkins, unfortunately, does nothing to refute this. There are even pointless headings for different sections of the film, like it has been split into seven episodes.

While there are lots of interesting locations, it cannot disguise the fact that it's still just people talking. The dialogue might be very good, but there's rarely anything important at stake.

This is less due to the poor plotting than the poor characterisation. And that in turn is due to Jenkins decision to have eight major characters. You simply can't have that many in a movie as there isn't as much time to find out about them as there is in a television series. There are two characters who are almost adequately drawn but the motivations for the others is barely there - if at all.

There is an incident in the last act that is a surprise but not in a good way. There is no reason given for the character to do what they did, so rather than being moved we simply don't care.

Two of the characters lose partners they cared about and react as if they'd lost a five-pound note. While it seemed bizarre and confusing at the time, in retrospect it was just so those characters could get together at the end with fewer hassles. It's not a feel good ending if everything that enabled it is totally unbelievable.

To be honest I preferred all the other This Life writers to Amy Jenkins but she does know how to write and there's the makings of a good film here as she clearly knows her world but it needed another couple of drafts at least.

The irony is the script was rushed into production before it was ready to cash in on the This Life success but because it was rushed both the co-investors, Miramax and Film Four, refused to distribute it. In fact Miramax subsequently closed down their UK subsidiary that produced this due to "creative differences".

This won't be in theatres for long but make up your own mind about it when it's on free television, where it belongs.


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