Comfort and Joy | Chicago Reader

Comfort and Joy

Bill Forsyth's wistfulness loses a lot of its charm when it isn't bracketed with other elements, such as the magical landscape of Local Hero (1983) or the social realism of That Sinking Feeling (1979). The only buffer in this low-key comedy (1984) about a Glasgow disc jockey (Bill Paterson) reeling from the loss of his longtime girlfriend is a dim gangster parody involving two rival ice cream companies. The disc jockey becomes a mediator in the territorial dispute, apparently out of a generalized desire to bring people together after his own abandonment, yet the connections aren't drawn with any emotional force and the action itself seems dry and familiar. Forsyth still excels at slipping loopy, lyrical moments into realistic contexts, and the film exudes a muted sweetness that isn't displeasing. But there isn't any life in this one—it feels too much like a filmmaker coasting on his trademarks. With Eleanor David and C.P. Grogan.

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