Reuniting The Rubins (PG)

Starring: Timothy Spall, Honor Blackman, James Callis

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Give me an oy. Give me a vey. Give me a sentimental tale of a London Jewish family that must learn to live in peace with one another.

Timothy Spall stars as widower Lennie, reluctantly agreeing to the wishes of his ailing mother (Honor Blackman) to reunite his estranged grown-up children for a Passover dinner – they comprise, rather implausibly, a Third World activist, a hubristic venture capitalist, a strict Rabbi and a Buddhist monk. Hilarity does not ensue. Instead we get an ungainly plot about dirty colonial tricks and a script that keeps twisting your arm instead of tapping your funny bone. The commercials director Yoav Factor brings sincerity to the project, but not much idea of where to put the camera or how to make a script sound like something spoken by human beings. Spall is lovely as the weary pater familias, though he's working uphill most of the time.