The Waiting Room (15)

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The Independent Culture

The Waiting Room is a British indie film starring Anne-Marie Duff as a single mum who's having a fling with her married next-door neighbour, Rupert Graves. Her head is turned by Ralf Little, a man she meets briefly in the waiting room of a local railway station, but she doesn't know anything about him.

Meanwhile, Little lives with his girlfriend, Zoe Telford, but he can't get his mind off the woman in the waiting room. With its whimsy, its gimmickry, and its faith in love at first sight, The Waiting Room has the outline of a frothy romantic comedy, but within that outline it's shaded in the dark greys of a tragic drama – not a happy combination.

From the damp, autumnal setting to the continual, plaintive music to the pall of ennui which hangs over all the characters, it's a depressing experience.

What can you say about a film that's being marketed as a rom-com, even though three of the leading ladies take it in turns to break down in tears, and the fourth of them drops dead? "I'm bored of it," announces Duff, near the end. "Bored of wallowing." Me, too.