Greatest Days

Verdict: The film can be a bit too sentimental at times but even the coldest of hearts won't be able to resist its uplifting, feelgood energy.

  • Aisling Bea, Alice Lowe, Matthew McNulty, Marc Wootton
  • June 15th 2023
  • Coky Giedroyc

A group of friends reunite after years of estrangement to see their favourite childhood band in concert in Athens.

Take That fans, your greatest day has arrived! Their jukebox stage musical has now been transformed into a movie.

The film follows adult Rachel (Aisling Bea), who wins a radio competition to see her favourite childhood band – a five-piece she was completely obsessed with – at their reunion concert in Athens.

She is allowed to bring along some companions and she knows exactly who to bring – only problem is, she hasn’t spoken to her childhood friends since a tragic accident 25 years ago.

The story jumps back and forth between 1993 and 2018 and eventually shows us what happened to teenage Rachel (Lara McDonnell) and her best friends Heather (Eliza Dobson), Zoe (Nandi Sawyers-Hudson), Claire (Carragon Guest) and Debbie (Jessie Mae Alonso) to make them drift apart.

In the 1993 narrative, we follow the girls as they get ready to see the band in Manchester, while in 2018, we watch their adult versions (played by Alice Lowe, Amaka Okafor and Jayde Adams) head to Athens for the reunion show.

You might think this is a film about Take That – but you would be wrong. The five-piece band the girls adore are obviously inspired by them and sing their songs, but this is a film about friendship, dealing with loss, and reconnecting after an estrangement and the band are simply a backdrop in this surprisingly substantial and emotional story.

Sadly, the musical numbers are the weakest element of Greatest Days. The band – who appear in imaginary sequences – are obviously excellent at both singing and dancing, but the rest of the cast are not so much. Outside of the fantastic EasyJet and finale sequences, the musical numbers lacked a certain polish and finesse and some of the singing was not good enough.

Despite the musical numbers being a mixed bag, it was still lovely to hear songs like Patience, Rule the World and Never Forget and see how they are used to advance the story.

The film can be a bit too sentimental at times but even the coldest of hearts won’t be able to resist its uplifting, feel-good energy by the end.

In cinemas from Friday 16th June.

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