Driving Lessons (15) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

The screenwriter Jeremy Brock gets behind the camera for the first time, flings the L-plates aside and piles head-first into an awful Brit-com mess. It stars Rupert Grint as Ben, a shy and gawky 17-year-old who spends the summer holidays working as assistant to a theatrical dame, Evie (Julie Walters), one of those "impossible" but lovable life-forces that may just set your teeth on edge. Their friendship, a refuge from the Christian zeal of Ben's mother (Laura Linney) and his gentle but ineffectual father (Nicholas Farrell), is stress-tested by an impromptu camping trip and a mercy-dash to Edinburgh. Walters mums away with potty-mouthed exuberance which Brock hopes we'll find as hilarious as he clearly does, while Grint contributes a goggle-eyed bemusement not very different from his Ron Weasley role. Brock, basing his script on personal experience (he worked as a teenager for Dame Peggy Ashcroft), may have exorcised a few ghosts but this partial autobiography will not enhance his reputation, or that of British comedy in general.