Cast: Michaela Coel, Arinze Kene, Jo Martin, George MacKay
Director: Tinge Krishnan
Synopsis: A dedicated single mother who, on an unusual night on the town, is charmed by a handsome yet troubled stranger.
There is this misconception that musicals have to be this big lavish affair. One might attribute that to the musicals of Hollywood’s Golden Age that seemed to set the standard, and nowadays we don’t get as many musicals as it seems to be a chore to produce, this is why La La Land was such a filmatic event.
Been So Long is similar to 2016’s Sing Street in that it’s a musical on a smaller scale. None of the songs were particularly memorable but I also didn’t find them cringey in their delivery. The flow from scene acting to singing seemed seamless and the film didn’t try to make it bigger than the scene called for. Been So Long itself is understated and subtle and the songs in the film supplement that.
The cast is lead by Chewing Gum’s Michaela Coel who does an excellent role in a more dramatic role than she usually plays. All the actors are convincing in their roles, and the love interest played by Arinze Kene is charming and we, as the audience, fall in love along with the protagonist.
There was an arrange of plot points in the film some of which were unnecessary and seemed to be in for added drama or comic relief, some of which seemed like half-baked ideas. I do feel however if the film had simply focused on the main romance, and their relationship between Simone (Coel) and her daughter, the film would have seemed more focused and the romance would have read better without the added distractions.
But in all, Been So Long is enjoyable for fans of romances and musicals, you will laugh, you will clench your heart and you will appreciate the adorable casts and the beautiful story.