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U.K. film offers laughs to U.S. audiences with DVD release

Cemetery Junction, England in the 1970s is not the most exciting place to be. Imagine working long days in a factory and then spending your spare time drinking, fighting and constantly running from the cops.

This is the set-up for the dark comedy, “Cemetery Junction,” which was released to DVD last month. The story follows three friends – Bruce, Freddie and Snork – as they embark on a journey to find out who they are and how they want to live their lives based on their own agenda.

“Cemetery Junction” was directed and written by well-known actor Ricky Gervais and former writer for “The Office,” Stephen Merchant. Their trademark humor is clearly evident in this nostalgic look at 1970s England. Actor Christian Cooke portrays Freddie: a young man who wants to make something of his life but is still just a boy on the inside.

That all changes when he meets childhood friend Julie, a young and adventurous photographer. Julie, played by actress Felicity Jones, shows Freddie that there is more to life than money, fancy cars and building a family.

The connection between the two in the film is that of humor and altruism. Freddie treats Julie with more respect than her fianc does and provides her with excitement. In one scene Freddie crawls through her window to invite her out to a club. In another, they develop photos together in her darkroom. These scenes display acts of close friendship and hints at something a bit more.

Actor and Burberry model Tom Hughes really makes the movie by portraying Bruce, a young man who spends his nights drinking, fighting and making frequent trips to jail. His nonchalant character adds an interesting comedic flavor when he walks around smoking cigarettes and causing controversy as much as possible. Snork, played by Jack Doolan, is often his partner in crime.

Tensions rise between the boys when Freddie brings Snork and Bruce to a work banquet with him. Before the banquet is over, the boys are asked to leave on account of bad behavior. Freddie wants to make something of his life by having a good job, while Bruce and Snork enjoy making jokes and having a good time. This pivotal event makes them question what they are doing with their lives and if they should leave Cemetery Junction for good.

The DVD includes commentaries by the cast, writer and directors and deleted scenes. One deleted scene includes Bruce trying to sell policies for Freddie at a funeral, which is an added bonus of humor to the film.

“Cemetery Junction” is a comedy that shows people what it is like to take chances, have dreams and hope for a better future. Sharp writing by Ricky Gervais makes this a worthwhile watch for any fan of British humor.