Writer: Rob Isted (Screenplay)
Starring: Luke Newberry, Genevieve Gaunt, Ian Hart, Lesley Sharp, Lee Ross, Ben Batt, Iain Glen
Plot: A feel-good, heart-warming film set in Yorkshire in 1977 about an adolescent boy’s big summer after leaving school. It’s about a boy and a dog, class and ambition, first love, and above all, family.
Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Delightful Coming of Age Film
Story: Dusty and Me starts when Dusty (Newberry) just turns 18 and finishes school on the same day with his brother Little Eddie (Batt) taking him for his first pint, meeting a greyhound that local trainer Mickey the Bubble (Glen) can’t train, he offers to walk and train while waiting for his results.
As the days turn into weeks Dusty starts getting involved with Chrissie (Gaunt) who becomes his first love as he continues to try and help Slapper the greyhound reach his potential.
Thoughts on Dusty and Me
Characters – Derek better know as Dusty to everyone else has been in private school, he has just hit 18 and is now returning home while waiting to receive his results. In this break he befriends a greyhound and meets a girl for the vital time in his life where he can find his place in life. Chrissie is the local girl that Dusty falls for, she has helps him come out of his shell, while we never learn where she wants her life to go. Big Eddie is the father of Derek, he spends his time down the pub wanting to be proud of his kids in his own way. Mickey the Bubble is the local greyhound trainer, he is known for his awful wigs and we see how he helps Dusty get the most out of Slapper, we do have the rest of the family with overprotective mum and fast-talking brother Little Eddie who gets all the laughs.
Performances – Luke Newberry in the leading role is great, we see how he feels as innocent as he is meant to be at the earl stages of film before becoming more open as the film unfolds. Genevieve Gaunt keeps her performance a joy to watch, her ever positive character just makes us smile. Ben Batt will get the most laughs in the film as a character that wouldn’t feel out of place in ‘Only Fools and Horses’. When we see the bigger names Iain Glen and Ian Hart are both great in their roles too.
Story – The story here is a coming-of-age tale about young Dusty an 18-year-old that has never has the chance of life experiences, the two months we watch we see him make new friends, both human and a dog and see just how much his family cares about him even if they don’t always show it. We go through a check list of coming of age movie which has sweet moments and shows the ups and downs in life which will only help make Dusty a stronger character for the world once he is finished.
Comedy/Family – The movie does have plenty of comedy in it, the funniest moments come from Little Eddie as he is the guy that seems to be able to get anything and the moments while he is away in postcard form telling Dusty what to do are funny. This is one that the whole family could enjoy even if all the characters are adult age ranged.
Settings – The film is set in Yorkshire, England in the 1977, we get the sense of community because of this, we do get football references to show which part they are from too with them being Leeds United fans, this little bit will help the English fans of the film understand certain jokes more than non-football fans.
Final Thoughts – This is a nice sweet coming of age movie, we have likeable characters and the simple story idea for Dusty to grow.
Overall: Coming of Age fans watch.