am i being unreasonable Review: Daisy May Cooper is flawless in her first follow-up to This Country

When I first heard about it am i being unreasonable, I assumed it was satire on parenting site Mumsnet. People on it spend an inordinate amount of their supposedly busy days discussing difficult handymen or their “DH” (Dear Husband)’s unsavory sexual habits. They often seek validation for their actions from those around them by asking, “…am I unreasonable?” Or “AIBU,” in the Mumsnet argot.

The latest comedy vehicle from This country‘s creator and star Daisy May Cooper isn’t about Mumsnet as such, except that the character she plays, Nic, lives in a thoroughly middle-class English environment (Cooper’s hometown of the Cotswolds, by the looks of it), and she seems inclined being able to ask the most intimate questions about yourself on Mumsnet (e.g. “Is someone else’s husband causing so much trouble that their butts dry up?”). She has a beautiful house, a clever little son who is more mature than herself, and an eccentric cleaning lady. She struggles to make friends in the village and is married to a guy she doesn’t like very much, Dan (Dustin Demri-Burns), and her love life is fueled by cheesy fantasies. We also learn that there was another man in her life, Alex (David Fynn), whom she loved passionately but met a violent end in a crazy accident involving his duffle coat and some train doors. In the opening scene, Dan is splashed by a passing train, all in front of Nic. Poor Nic has horrible flashbacks about the incident, making her scream in rural churchyards. Then Nic befriends a newcomer to the neighborhood, single mom Jen (Selin Hizli). Their children play together and the two discover a mutual dislike for everyone else in the village. Drinks will be organised.

Aside from Mumsnet, which is harmless enough, she also confides in Jen, and after way too much white wine, talks to this basically stranger about how the only thing missing from her life is “real, intense passion… and you feel it.” you like a teenager and the nerves are exposed on your skin”. Naturally sympathetic, but less normal, Jen surreptitiously pulls out her phone and begins recording when Nic drunkenly confesses that she last experienced this intensity in her past affair – the one with Alex that Dan knows nothing about (as far as we know).

And so the central questions are asked, to which you will not get an answer on Mumsnet – and we viewers want answers. What is Jens up to? Why, when she fleetingly meets Dan, do the two have some sort of moment, and he seems keen on spending more time with her? Who exactly was the man Nic was having a reckless affair with? And how cruel will it get for Nic when her new beast gasses, blackmails and destroys her (which feels inevitable)?

The entire setup of AIBU was written by Cooper and Hizli, and the screenplay is intricately structured to maintain that balance between reality and deception, past and present, lie and truth – and they succeed admirably. Presumably created for themselves, their respective performances are flawless; but Hizli has the tougher task of being a con artist, and she plays Jen in a nuanced, delicately weighted way that teases just the right amount of evil creepiness out of her character’s outwardly airy, mumsnetty kindness. Cooper is more idiotically direct than Nic. It is wonderfully made and makes for a more comfortable viewing.

What makes Cooper special is that she came into the game out of nowhere due to the incredible brilliance and success of her first gig This countryshe will forever have to live up to the sacred memory of Kerry Mucklowe (more like Ricky Gervais, David Brent and The office). Cooper’s still only in his thirties, and I’m just ruling that out AIBU (as in The witch finder last year) she is evolving as an actress and writer well beyond Kerry and beyond playing a mere caricature of herself. Unlike the downward spinning Nic, Cooper is going very much in the right direction.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/am-i-being-unreasonable-aibu-daisy-may-cooper-b2173845.html am i being unreasonable Review: Daisy May Cooper is flawless in her first follow-up to This Country


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