I have to admit that until a year or so ago, I despised Ricky Gervais with a passion. For a long time I just didn’t ‘get’ him and mistook his incredibly dry sense of humour for incredible rudeness. But as time’s gone on, I’ve grown to really appreciate his sense of humour and his down-to-earth view on the world, it also helps that he’s a passionate advocate for animal rights and a staunch atheist; two things we have in common!
Ever since watching Derek I formed a new-found love and appreciation for Gervais that I didn’t previously think possible (partly because his hilarious skit with the baby bird resembled something I did, much to the amusement of my family, several years prior!) and so when I saw he was gracing the big screen once again I had to book a ticket.
I think like a lot of what Gervais does, Life on the Road is like Marmite, you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it and I’m sure he wouldn’t give a fuck what you think either way anyway! He’s incredibly observant, a bit of a master of satire and there’s just something about his mannerisms that’s subtle yet hilarious. He has this ability to physically embody the character he’s playing in a weird and wonderful way that a lot of actors don’t seem able to achieve. David Brent’s hilariously awkward, toothy smile and goofy laugh make him all the more endearing, and all the more comical, and that ‘official video’ of Lady Gypsy is absolute comedy gold for the most awkward and cringe-worthy reasons!
Despite failing at a music career years ago Gervais actually has a very good voice and the music in the film isn’t all that terrible. Yes the lyrics are deliberately obtuse and bizarre and Brent’s on-stage performance is comically awkward but the music and Gervais’s singing is actually pretty reasonable and considering the amount of singing there is in the film, it’s a bloody good job!
If you enjoyed Gervais’s TV show Derek (and of course if you’re a fan of The Office) then you should definitely give Life on the Road a go. He’s mastered the comedy mockumentary and delivers something really funny and incredibly entertaining. There’s even a little bit of romance in there too! A fun and very clever mockmentary, and the music isn’t that bad either.
A Films and Things rating of 4.5!