It's-a-Lot-UK-Quad-PosterThe expression “It’s a lot” is described by a character within this Darwood Grace and Femi Oyeniran production, as being a slang term for something that is either “exceptionally good”, or something “exceptionally bad”. Sadly, this comedy leans somewhat closer to the latter.

Director and writer Oyeniran plays our lead Shawn, a public schooled youngster who is fed up with such a lifestyle, and decides to spend more time with his less affluent cousin Kai (Jazzie Zonzolo) and proceeds to join him at his London college. Given Shawn’s parents are out of town, he offers up his family mansion to accommodate his classmate Chrissy’s (Roxy Sternberg) birthday party. Things get way out of hand, as he gets himself into a mess that has to be resolved before his parents return home – including raising enough money to fix his dad’s favourite car, which he drove straight into a lamp-post.

It’s a Lot is is effectively a role reversal of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – except this lacks both the humour and the poignancy that came with the hit show. To be brutally honest, it’s a shambles of a film, with a series of quick-fire edits, and moving at a terribly fast pace, but not in a comfortable nor exciting way. Within the opening quarter of an hour it feels like a sketch show with so many contrasting styles mixed up together. A more simplistic approach would be immensely beneficial, as it’s though Oyeniran merely wanted to show off the eclectic range of techniques you can implement in the editing suite. Sometimes less is more.

It feels so difficult to relax when watching this film, certainly not helped with the excessive use of music, playing incessantly throughout this production. It’s a Lot also attempts – and ultimately fails – to be heartfelt in points, but doesn’t deserve the right to do so, given the inane, frivolous approach it has taken. You can’t have your cake and eat it, after all. On the other hand, Shawn is an endearing creation, as you can’t help but feel a bit sorry for him. Though only Oyeniran could tell you exactly what his accent is trying to be. It’s a sort of mix between Tim Nice But Dim and Dizzee Rascal.

There is the occasional moment that makes you laugh, and you can’t fault the intention with this project, with a tongue-in-cheek approach, parodying the youth of today to comic effect. However regrettably it just doesn’t work in this instance. Oh, and before you thought it could get any worse, Tim Westwood crops up. As a film that is trying too hard to impress, once you’ve finished it feels like you’ve run a marathon. Never mind ‘it’s a lot’ – it’s too much.