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There have been a few notable films in the spoof rockumentary category.

Spinal Tap, obviously - which gives you the Hollywood take on the subject - The Rutles, a pythonesque thinly-veiled Beatles tribute, and the anarchic Bad News, to name a few.

They all seem to be aimed at an already established audience or, in the case of Spinal Tap, at those with a working knowledge of the machinations of the heavy rock world.

In the way that British cinema has of taking an idea and treating it with a certain delicacy and affection, Still Crazy has a charm and humour all of its own.
Whereas the above-mentioned films are based on pure parody of an existing idea, Still Crazy relies on human interactions and relationships for much of its humour. This makes the film more believable, many of the laughs coming out of the fact that we can relate to these people, they are everyday people following a dream.

The story of the film's band, Strange Fruit, is that in the seventies, at Wisbech Rock Festival, a lightning storm blew out the power whilst the band were playing and this was seen as a signal to call it a day musically and the members of the band went their own way.

The film opens 20 years later with Tony Costello (Stephen Rea), the band's keyboard player, bumping into the son of the promoter of the rock festival who asks if Strange Fruit would consider reforming and playing the festival once more. Aided by Karen, avid fan and friend of the band, he sets out to track down the rest of the band. Bassist, Les Wickes (Jimmy Nail) and drummer Beano Bagget (Timothy Spall) are easy to persuade to rejoin but the difficult one is Ray (Bill Nighy), the lead singer.

Always at odds with the other members of the band, Ray stayed in music and has all of the trappings of the successful rock star, but bankruptcy is just around the corner and he is persuaded to join. The problem comes with the fact that their guitarist, Brian Lovell, who was the star of the band, is believed to be dead and so a young flash lead guitarist is recruited in the form of Luke Shand.

Also back in the gang is roadie and philosopher Hughie, in which role Billy Connolly is brilliantly cast. He does not get masses of lines, but the ones he does get are the ones you remember from the film.

Although there are some great pieces of slapstick, the film's charm revolves around the human element of the film. Old rivalries and envies quickly rise to the surface, old love interest is rekindled and the whole thing plays out like a teen movie as they make the same mistakes and have the same attitudes on life as they did when they where youngsters. You could say that this is a coming of middle-age comedy. Will they learn from their past mistakes?

With Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais behind the script (Porridge, The Commitments) you know the dialogue is going to be spot on, and Nail and Spall are really covering the old relationships of the Auf Weidersein Pet days. Nail is the angry rebel, Spall the clown and Nighy the all too serious would be Peter Pan of rock trying to be a fifty year old teenager. This leave Stephen Rea to handle the serious points of the film and his scenes are what pulls this from being just another rock spoof into an intelligent and humorous drama.

The music is great if you like your Classic rock, although it is very much incidental to the story and not a major part of the film. Nighy and Nail are credited with their own vocals and the songs. There is a sound track available which is well worth a listen if you enjoy the film and has such writers and performers as Mick Jones, Jeff Lynne, Chris Difford and Bernie Marsden.

Unlike some films of this genre it is not too full of in-jokes and innuendo that it will appeal only to teenage rock fans. This is a story of love, loss and reliving the dream that just happens to be set in the world of ageing rock stars. A cult classic.