Off The Rails is a film that “adheres to the itinerary of the feel-good British film.”


Sally Philips, Jenny Seagrove and Kelly Preston go interrailing. No, it’s not the latest Channel 5 travel series, but the plot of a new feel-good Brit flick.

“The menopause has 32 symptoms and I have 34,” says Sally Phillips’ unusually mature Inter-railer in this likeable British drama.

She’s playing Liz, a 50-something doctor who has reunited with three old pals after the death of a fourth.

When Anna (Andrea Corr in a fleeting cameo) died from breast cancer, she bequeathed tickets to Liz, actress Cassie (Kelly Preston) and journalist Kate (Jenny Seagrove) so they could repeat (and this time complete) the booze-fuelled European odyssey they embarked on when they were students. There’s just one difference. Anna’s place will be taken by her 17-year-old daughter Maddie (Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips).

While Maddie will see the delights of Paris, Barcelona and Mallorca through the first flush of youth, her companions will relive it through the hot flushes of the menopause.

Although based on director Jules Williamson’s experiences, the script sticks closely to the itinerary of the comedy drama.

On this road trip on tracks, there will be mishaps, romance (courtesy of Franco Nero and, of all people Ben Miller), and the airing of dark secrets. There’s way too much Blondie shoehorned into the soundtrack (Anna was a fan) but the performances are solid, the camaraderie is convincing and there’s a smattering of witty lines.

You’ll have to give some leeway to the casting director, though. Phillips and Seagrove are playing contemporaries but there’s a 13-year age gap between them.

The tragic death of Kelly Preston last year (this was her last film) is harder to ignore, making an early funeral scene tough to watch. As Judi Dench, playing Anna’s mum, delivers a touching speech about a life taken too early, you may struggle to keep your eyes off the sprightly American.


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