Liane Balaban in Abroad (2010)

The Devil Wears Knock-Offs

Journalist Amy Pearce (Liane Balaban - Last Chance Harvey) arrives in London from Toronto for her dream job of writing for the London Daily Post thanks to her friendship with its owner Lord Oldenberg (Maury Chaykin). But her dream is immediately shattered when she meets her catty editor Jemima Whitfield Pennington Green (Sally Phillips) who not only sets out to humiliate her by making her do the tea-runs but steals her ideas. She also meets Edward Walpole (Adam Rayner) a photographer and dashing Brit who sweeps her off her feet one moment and then is cold to her the next but she also meets Billy Marshall (Andrew Buchan), the award-winning business reporter who has an intense dislike of Edward.

I had read before watching "Abroad" that it was a chick flick and whilst that means I am not in the movie's target audience I don't mind a chick flick which is done right. Sadly "Abroad" is not done right and it is 90-ish minutes of vacuous "entertainment" which I put in quotes as whilst I am sure some will love the utter false fairytale of posh sounding Brits and swinging London lifestyle as portrayed in the movie I found it a shallow, unrewarding experience. In all honesty whilst "Abroad" is not the worst movie I have ever seen it is one of the least entertaining thanks to it trying hard to be too like other movies about young women leading the high life in the world of journalism.

The storyline could be classed as classic but in truth I prefer the term unoriginal because we have Amy arriving in London as a fish out of water and falling for the wrong guy whilst the right guy is nearby the whole time. She gets caught up in the whole party life style especially as she has one flat mate who is a vacuous wide eyed party girl along with the obligatory gay flat mate. And well to be honest after 30 minutes "Abroad" was struggling to keep my attention having already struggled to get it in the first place.

My objection to it all is that it is such a wannabee, the cast of actors who for the most didn't ring any bells with me seemed like they had been cast more for who they look like. Liane Balaban as Amy has this whole Anne Hathaway in "The Devil Wears Prada" thing going on whilst Adam Rayner far too often comes across Jude Law-ish. But being similar is not their only problem as the characters are utterly shallow and annoyingly fake, none more so that Sally Phillips as the bitchy Jemima. I suppose for the young none of this will be an issue but it not only makes the characters far too annoying it makes them unoriginal.

What this all boils down to is that "Abroad" is trying to be like other movies, it is trying to be like "The Devil Wears Prada" but the end result is a shallow and un-entertaining movie.