Based on an original premise explored in writer/director Anthony Wilcox’s short of the same title, Hello Carter spans predominantly over one long evening in London, where it seems as though anything is possible. However sadly, right from the very get go, none of the characters on screen are relatable. They are flat, emotionless and seem to care only about themselves and what happens in their own personal bubbles. In fact, the only character who is likeable and will put a smile on your face is the crazy old Auntie Miriam, played by Judy Parfitt.
The premise is simple and sweet, and if pulled off correctly could make Hello Carter the next Love Actually with a touch of The Hangover. However, what transpires is an underwhelming comedy full up of strategically placed characters that, by chance (accidentally on purpose) bump into each other in one of the busiest cities on the planet. If the script was more on point with its comedy gags and character depth, perhaps this would have evoked an entirely different feeling. Every time we do get a glimpse of what this film could have been, an obnoxious character, or a rather silly situation involving a baby crops up.
Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Cox as Carter does a decent job as the desperate, semi-pathetic man who wants nothing more than to get back together with his ex. Carter is completely stuck in a rut though it seems his luck has turned around when he sees Kelly’s brother (and star of action movies) Aaron (Paul Schneider) on the tube, despite the latter evidently wanting nothing to do with him. Yet Carter remains determined and there is something rather touching about how far he’ll go to simply get Kelly’s number in order to hear her voice again. That being said, after running into Aaron the film becomes rather farcical, as Carter runs into yet more people he knows, ends up kidnapping a baby and narrowly avoiding an arrest. Not forgetting the female interest who takes his mind of Kelly once and for all – the mousey brown Jenny (Jodie Whittaker).
Sadly, this predictable comedy is just too much of a challenge to invest in, and isn’t quite the feel good film you might have hoped for it to be. However hard you try and relate to the characters on screen, the scenarios placed before them make the whole thing somewhat risible and detracts from the more intimate, nuanced elements. Despite some laughs along the way and the fluffiest ginger cat you will ever see, this well-meaning comedy sadly fails to deliver.