16: Human Traffic (not to be confused with Human Trafficking)

Human Traffic – May 5, 2000
Starring: John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington, Shaun Parkes, Danny Dyer,
Written and directed by: Justin Kerrigan

The plot: “The Cardiff club scene in the 90’s: five best friends deal with their relationships and their personal demons during a weekend. Jip calls himself a sexual paranoid, afraid he’s impotent. Lulu, Jip’s mate, doesn’t find much to fancy in men. Nina hates her job at a fast food joint, and her man, Koop, who dreams of being a great hip-hop d.j., is prone to fits of un-provoked jealousy. The fifth is Moff, whose family is down on his behavior. Starting Friday afternoon, with preparations for clubbing, we follow the five from Ecstacy-induced fun through a booze-laden come-down early Saturday morning followed by the weekend’s aftermath. It’s breakthrough time for at least three of them.” – jhailey at IMDB

My thoughts: I must preface this review by saying that I absolutely love Brit comedies. I find the humor in them so incredibly relatable and real. This is not to say that American comedies aren’t funny (though sometimes, they aren’t), but they use such cliches and over-the-top antics/personalities that it takes me out of the element. Considering the fact that more often than not, comedies are based in the every day person’s reality, the characters should be believable. Comedies are rarely set in a fantasy world that require our imagination. And with a large number of British comedies, the situations and people seem so genuine and you just know that the writer probably knew people just like the characters in real life.

I thoroughly enjoyed Human Traffic. For all of you geeks out there, it stars the newest Master from Doctor Who, John Simms, as Jip. Knowing what a mega/crazy creep he can play, it was so fun and refreshing to see him as a somewhat neurotic guy experiencing the highs and lows of Ecstasy rather than trying to take over Earth.

Movies like Human Traffic are what I consider “refreshing.” Without getting too cynical or trying to stray away from a review, you have to agree that a lot of stuff (and people) in life is phony. Everyone is constantly worried about how they’re being perceived, busy putting on airs, constantly trying to find answers to everything. This movie blatantly states these facts with cutaways by the characters and narration. At one point, Jip says “We wanna go somewhere else. We’re not threatened by people anymore. All our insecurities have evaporated. We’re in the clouds now. We’re wide open…We want a universal level of togetherness, where we’re comfortable with everyone. We’re in rhythm. Part of a movement. A movement to escape. We wave goodbye. Ultimately, we just want to be happy.”

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Jip encounters a guy that he just isn’t friends with and doesn’t really like. Despite the feeling being mutual, they both feel inclined to exchange pleasantries and act like they would be up for hanging out at the club later on. Jip acknowledges and imagines how the conversation should really go:

And of course, the movie is all around hilarious. With people getting high and realizing that Darth Vader wants to explore outer space and Yoda is more interested in inner space (very symbolic), how couldn’t it be funny? Plus, as an American girl, the way that things are expressed by English people makes it even better.

Stars: 5/5

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