Eddie Marsan in Faintheart (2008)

The Re-enactment Theory

When they first met Richard (Eddie Marsan), a sales assistant, and Cath (Jessica Hynes) were both into the whole Viking re-enactment scene, getting dressed up at weekends with their friends and living like they were in the past. But whilst they got married and started a family Richard is stuck living in the past quite literally, much to the annoyance of Cath and the embarrassment of their son. After Cath has enough of him refusing to grow up she kicks him out it forces Richard to face the facts and with the help of his friends set about winning her back especially as she starts seeing Gary (Paul Nicholls), the PE teacher at their son's school.

Well let's see; we have a middle aged man who prefers to hang out with his friends doing a bit of a nerdy thing rather than doing something everyday. Sounds like I could be describing the American comedy "The Big Bang Theory" but nope I am on about "Faintheart", a British comedy which sees Eddie Marsan playing the middle aged man who has to do some growing up when his wife tires of him putting the whole weekend re-enactment thing and hanging out with his man child mates than doing grown up stuff.

Jessica Hynes in Faintheart (2008)

From a storyline point of view it means that "Faintheart" is completely predictable yet it is still kind of entertaining thanks to the performances with both Eddie Marsan and Ewen Bremner doing a good job of playing men child, stuck in their role playing pasts. The thing though is that like with the story those performances are just as familiar from Bremner playing a slightly nervous character to Jessica Hynes playing the wife who has tired of being let down by her husband. It actually makes "Faintheart" difficult to review because beyond the whole Viking re-enactment part there is nothing in the least bit new here.

What this all boils down to is that "Faintheart" is a perfectly entertaining comedy, an enjoyable distraction for those looking for some geeky humour. But this is one of those movies which doesn't do anything you won't have seen before which is in some ways its downfall as truth be told it could have been more than just okay.