You know any movie with a title that sounds like a documentary is a gutsy move so it has to be brave and adventurous and FAQs is exactly that.
The cult TV series, Dr Who, was the first pioneer in the art of in-situ sci-fi, where no effort is made to dress up the story with special effects. At first glance, such an approach, with an old-style police box, some geezer with a scarf, bow tie or wearing tennis shoes with a suit, seems a little tardy, but the focus quickly settles on the characters and their interactions over sensational, spectacular effects and a classic is born. Frequently Asked Questions succeeds in the same vein because the characters are believable, their reactions come across as unscripted and their response to each twisting turn through space-time is believable, even when the story veers off on speculative angles.
With only a handful of special effects, 90% of the story takes place in a quiet, unassuming British pub over a pint of beer as our dopey lads ponder various science fiction premises over some warm ale, but when a time-leak opens up, some what appropriately, in the public toilets, a zany series of jaunts into the future and the past unfold with unpredictable yet hilarious consequences. Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart has one wondering if the retro-styling throughout the movie was intended to place it in the early 80’s, certainly, it could pass as occurring from any point forward of then and you’ll leave this film determined never to sing Bonnie Tyler while going to the bathroom.
This is not a movie you can watch just once.
The first time through, you’re left feeling somewhat bewildered and confused but that’s OK, as all the characters are feeling the same way, so you end up feeling like you’re the fourth time traveller, along for the ride, but without a beer. Second time through you’ll start picking up on the humour and feel like one of the in-crowd, like you’ve got some insider knowledge that allows you to sit back and enjoy the ride. By the third time, you’ll find yourself splitting your sides with laughter as the cascade of subtle British humour finally hits home.
I can’t rave too much about this movie. It’s five stars from me. But, whatever you do, don’t watch it once 🙂