Starring: James Corden, Alexandra Roach, Julie Walters
Genre: Comedy/ Drama
Despite constant bullying at school and severe disapproval from his dad (Colm Meaney), all Paul Potts (Corden) ever wanted to do was sing, and using the unique voice he had; sing opera. After continuous mental and physical setbacks, including one from his hero Luciano Pavarotti it seems Paul is never destined to realise his dream or immense talent, but a chance entry into a new talent show called Britain’s Got Talent may be his one chance.
I cannot believe I just wrote that! Pass the sick bucket now! PLEASE!
I myself, and I am sure like so many other people of Britain, remember the first ever Britain’s Got Talent and was genuinely moved when Paul Potts deservedly won. I have also heard frank and honest interviews with Paul Potts talking about his life story, and it is indeed a heart-warming, inspiring and sometimes very bleak story that is genuinely moving. He is a modest and very talented man who deserves all the success that he gets.
However, for this film Simon Cowell has further demonstrated his extreme hubris by taking Paul Potts’ story and dipping it into sugar, treacle, syrup and all things extremely sweet and sickly. In doing this One Chance is a cynically made, unashamedly crowd pleasing, lowest common denominator feel-good clichéd ‘never give up on your dreams’ story that has been made solely to put more money into his already undeservedly bulging pockets.
Though from what I have heard in interviews with Paul Potts, a vast majority of the main narrative developments in One Chance are essentially true, but that in no way makes this a film made with any integrity. Due to this being a cynical crowd pleaser any of the darker elements that made Paul Potts’ story genuinely moving have been taken out. Even those unfamiliar with the story will be able to predict exactly what happens.
Despite all this, I did still feel genuinely moved by the film. This is in no way a credit to the actual film, but because it is a very recent and genuinely moving story that is still very much in the subconscious of the British public, and the film serves as a reminder of that story. Simon Cowell and those behind One Chance know this, and this is further demonstration of just how evil the concept and thought process of this film actually is.
As Potts, Corden is OK, and all singing is provided By Potts himself, but he is essentially playing his annoying self. The supporting cast are all very strong, particularly Mackenzie Crook in possibly his most likeable film role so far, and Alexandra Roach is also extremely likeable as Potts’ girlfriend Julz. However, though they all make One Chance that little bit watchable there is no escaping the extreme money grabbing cynicism behind the film.
One Chance takes an undeniably moving true story of recent times and turns it into an extremely cynical and unashamedly cheesy and clichéd crowd pleaser that further demonstrates that Simon Cowell genuinely thinks he is the second coming. Films like this are both an insult to cinema and the real people the true story is about.