The world loves an underdog story. Add to that a heart-melting soundtrack and you’ve got yourself cinema gold. In 2007, Paul Potts (not to be confused with Pol Pot) became the very first winner of Britain’s Got Talent - think Susan Boyle but before Susan Boyle. Paul, from a working class family in a working class steel mill town in Wales, has loved singing Opera his entire life. Born with a “big voice”, his passion and talent landed him on the number one spot on the bully attack list, resulting in some pretty nasty incidents, including one that saw a few of his front teeth smashed, not leaving him with the prettiest smile around.
In his adult life, Paul (James Corden) works for Carphone Warehouse - anything to avoid working at the mill - and has a girlfriend Julz (Alexandra Roach) whom he met in an online chatroom. Struggling with his dreams being bigger than his circumstances, Paul battles through health scares, rocky relationships, and getting his dreams crushed by his lifelong hero Pavarotti, to eventually make it to the finals of Britain’s Got Talent, after only entering due to financial troubles and the flip of a coin.
With a perfect cast meshed with the right amount of Hollywood licence, this is the uplifting heart-warmer of the year. Corden is cute and charming with an equally endearing screening partner in Roach. Director David Frankel (‘The Devil Wears Prada’) pulls just the right amount of heartstrings to keep things light when they need to be, dark when they need to be and everything else just shy of schmaltzy.
This is a film to be seen when you need to feel good, prepare for the hairs on your arms to stick up and feel your chest swell with a little ‘Nessun Dorma’.