According to the support notes to this film, Londoner Anthony Wilcox sold his house and spent a year writing the script for Hello Carter, his full directorial debut.
It is hard not to admire such commitment. But this was no shot in the dark for he is a seasoned assistant director, working alongside Michael Winterbottom, who exec-produces this low-key, humdrum outing.
The result of his sacrifice is a mixed bag which is best considered as a showreel rather than a cohesive film.
The slender tale takes the form of the day in the life of hapless, jobless Carter (a nicely hangdog Charlie Cox). There is something of The Hangover here, as Carter finds himself embroiled in all sorts of capers and scrapes, one including a baby, while he goes in search of his ex-girlfriend’s phone number.
Coincidentally (and that word is the engine of most plot points) he bumps into her brother Aaron (Paul Schneider) over from LA as well as frequently and improbably bumping into dispirited office drone Jodie Whittaker, with whom a romantic spark is ignited
The plot is contrived, and implausible and seems present to showcase Wilcox’s handling of the camera – which is confident and assured.
So, a mini-police chase with Carter crisp and professional at the wheel is neatly edited but bares no relation to anything we know about Carter and his passengers say nothing in response to his surprising skillset.
The film is not without odd pockets of charm and the director draws some good performances out his ensemble (notably Judy Parfitt as eccentric Aunt Miriam) but the quirkiness serves no purpose except to draw attention to itself and the director’s wider ambitions.