With the Olympic Games being hosted in Britain in 2012, it made sense to try and squeeze every possible penny from the event hence the release of comedy-drama Fast Girls. Developed from a script by British actor-director Noel Clarke, Fast Girls was forced by the Olympic Committee to remove any mention of said event, forcing a rewrite to base the action in a fictional tournament.
Fast Girls focuses on streetwise Shania Temple (Lenora Crichlow) and middle class Lisa Temple (Lily James) who are local rivals on the athletics track. Both attempting to achieve selection for the Great British 4x100m relay team, their worlds collide as they try and come to terms with their differing backgrounds against the backdrop of qualification to the ˜World Championships.’
If you’ve seen the trailer of Fast Girls, you know exactly what to expect from the plot, pacing and even the final showdown. It does not attempt to innovate or push boundaries, but instead plays it very safe, aiming for melodramatic sentimentality in hopes to inspire some excitement for the Olympic Games. In this regard it is a success. Noel Clarke is becoming a solid British script-writer and all-round film talent, while Fast Girls’ two leads Crichlow and James are both good in emotionally limited roles.
There is almost no originality or risk-taking in presentation, direction or script, which gives the impression to the audience that they’ve seen it all before. Which they have, in films like Chariots of Fire, Rocky and really any other confrontational-yet-life-affirming sports film. The dialogue is as corny as it’s possible to be and it suffers from the problem that a lot of British films do in that in trying to appear appealing to an American audience, it somehow loses its British authenticity.
Fast Girls is a neatly put together, cheaply produced British drama clearly aimed at making some money out of the British Olympics and as a piece of UEFA European Championships counter-programming. It’s well put together, paced and has decent performances, but is unlikely to leave any lasting impact beyond the Summer Games.