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Monday, May 26, 2008

NOT ONLY BUT ALWAYS . . . (2005)

Terry Johnson ’s telepic on comedians Peter Cook & Dudley Moore tries to hide its basic conventionality with a bit of time jumping and B&W alter-ego commentary. But the "Star Is Born" cliches of rise & fall stardom, self-loathing & self-destructive behavior, are unavoidable here and nothing to be ashamed of mining for all they're worth. Rhys Ifans & Aidan McArdle embody rather than impersonate Pete & Dud in fine warts & all perfs. The script, based on a bio of Cook, shows its bias (Moore’s musical talent is somehow judged less worthy than Cook’s free associative comedy), but any BEYOND THE FRINGE fan will find this riveting stuff. And the guys playing Jonathan Miller & Alan Bennett are tremendous.

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