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The Independent Culture
A Rather English Marriage, pounds 12.99

SOMEHOW CARLTON managed to pick up the video rights for this drama, originally broadcast by the BBC last year. I suppose that the ITV company shovels enough rubbish down our throats to at least recognise vintage fluff when it spots it.

Andrew Davies's adaptation of Angela Lambert's novel dusts off that hackneyed old formula, the odd couple. Following the deaths of their wives on the same day, Albert Finney, an ex-squadron leader, offers Tom Courtenay, a retired milkman, a roof over his head in exchange for his lodger's housekeeping skills.

For all its cosy premiss, the script doesn't flinch from rendering the emotional disasters of the widowers' personal lives. Finney and Courtenay further elevate proceedings, nursing some lovely exchanges out of the run-of-the-mill dialogue.

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