July 8, 2009

Concluding our occasional series looking at the film locations slated for (questionably appropriate) commemoration in this coming weekend’s charity epic Monkey Moviestars, we turn our gaze to Scarborough’s Coffee Bean Café, one time haunt of the eponymous heroine of the most successful ever British movie, 1998’s £7m grossing comedy, Little Voice.

The obvious location to choose might have been Little Voice’s house in the film, The Hoff Music Shop. Sadly this has since been demolished. OK, then, what about the Rendezvous nightclub? Since demolished, we learn from the ever helpful‚ if hard to pronounce without sounding like a drunken old Colonel – Scarborough Borough Council Tourist Information Centre.

Fast running out of options, Bankstone hit upon the Coffee Bean Café‚ which offers our 15-strong cavalcade of monkeybikists the chance to refresh themselves with a nice cup of tea at the end of day one‚ before embarking on a hard night’s carousing at the Scarborough Grand Hotel.

The plot of Little Voice sees agoraphobic, selectively mute Laura ‚ the titular LV‚ played by Britain’s greatest living actress Jane Horrocks permanently ensconced in her bedroom obsessively honing impressions of the vintage songstresses whose records her late beloved father amassed before being heckled and cuckolded to death by his wife (see below).

Lured onto the beer-tacky stage of the aforementioned Mr Boo’s (proprietor Jim Broadbent) by (my name is) Michael Caine as a washed up would-be promoter clutching for his last shot at the big time‚ while also shagging LV’s brassy booze-soaked abusive mother, Brenda Blethyn‚ she briefly overcomes her stage fright by imagining her father as the audience to wow the crowd with a succession of bravura performances.

Refusing to reprise her act for a London agent, she retreats into her private world, throws Caine down stairs, inadvertently starts a fire which rages through the house, while she retreats to the top floor to be with her records and impersonations and Caine retires to Boo’s to perform a drunken, defeated expletive-laden ‘It’s Over’ with full orchestral accompaniment, leaving LV’s tentative “love interest” the pigeon-fondling Ewan McGregor, doing another outstandingly dodgy Yorkshire accent, to rescue her both literally from the fire (with the aid of a mechanical hoist) and metaphorically from her dead end life.

The film ends with Horrocks losing her precious record collection but rediscovering her identity as Laura, finally standing up to her mother, and helping McGregor “exercise” his pigeons. All of which Bankstone’s charity fundraising monkey boys will be faithfully recreating on undersized motorbikes this weekend. Probably.


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