It’s the stuff of nightmares. You return home, only to discover that you are already there: a facsimile is duping your loved ones and taking over your life. The existence of a malevolent doppelganger is a universal, enduring fear, and filmmakers across the spectrum, from Alfred Hitchcock (Vertigo) to Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Richard Ayoade (The Double) and Denis Villeneuve (Enemy), have mined its potential for thrills.
Richard Curtis surely owns the rosiest glasses in the film business. According to him, the UK is a gentle, slightly eccentric place, where good things happen to good people and well-mannered chaps generally get the girl. And, despite the inclusion of brash American Philip Seymour Hoffman and a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack, The Boat That Rocked is cut from the same warm and fuzzy cloth. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its charms, but it would be nice to see Curtis step out of his comfort zone.