THE WAITING ROOM (director/writer: Roger Goldby; cinematographer: James Aspinall; editor: David Thrasher; music: Edmund Butt; cast: Anne-Marie Duff (Anna), Zoe Telfund (Jem), Frank Finlay (Roger), Ralf Little (Stephen), Rupert Graves (George), Christine Bottomley (Fiona Clark), Polly Rose McCarthy (Charlie), Finlay Kenny Tighe (Joe), Lee Williams (Brian), Adrian Bower (Toby), Phyllida Law (Helen), Allan Corduner (John Clark, Fiona's Dad), Lizzy McInnerny (Fiona's Mom); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sarah Sulick; IFC; 2007-UK)

"A genial but dullish romantic drama."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Brit TV director Roger Goldby in his debut feature movie helms and writes a genial but dullish romantic drama, one that is all too familiar and feels like a made for TV romcom. It's slow-moving and has a contrived ending, as it tells its awkward relationship tale without distinction. The positive is the good acting from the entire cast. It's set in a suburban area in South London, and its main event takes place at Wandsworth Station.

It opens showing that the pathetic married, stay at home dad, George (Rupert Graves), is having an affair with his feisty attractive single-mom next-door neighbor Anna (Anne-Marie Duff). George is married to Jem (Zoe Telfund), the best friend of Anna.

When the unbalanced elderly resident of the local nursing home, Roger (Frank Finlay), is at the railroad station for his daily visit to greet a wife who died a long time ago, Anna is also there to catch a train and gets into a friendly conversation with Roger about his dear wife in the waiting room. Soon Roger's nursing home care-taker Stephen (Ralf Little) arrives to escort Roger back. There's a love at first sight flash between the two strangers, but no phone numbers or names are exchanged. They will spend the entire movie trying to find each other again, but will have to wait until the last few minutes of the film before we get that predictable sugary ending.

Meanwhile at the nursing home, sensitive care-taker, Stephen is seen on the job gently treating his elderly charges and then at night sleeping with the 28-year-old Fiona (Christine Bottomley), his demanding neurotic girlfriend who tells him she wants him to get her pregnant.

After Stephen's encounter with the mystery woman, he can only think of her, while Anna dreams of her mystery man. Both break-up their dead-end affairs, and on schedule they meet again at the station and daffy Roger is there to play Cupid.

REVIEWED ON 6/5/2013       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"