A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
"Tamara Drewe" is one of those British comedies in which, one way or another, we envy all of the characters — even, briefly, the one run over by stampeding cows. If one must be vain, lustful, egotistical or long-suffering, let it be here, at a writers' retreat in the Dorset village of Ewedown, where everyone lives across the street from a field, and there are no bank branches to deface the rustic charm.
The writers' colony is run by Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam) and his good wife, Beth (Tamsin Greig). He is a best-selling crime novelist and serial adulterer, and she is a saintly helpmate who runs the retreat, befriends the guests, bakes fresh pastries for tea and is reconciled to his tomcatting because at the end of the day, he always returns to her — for the pastries, possibly.
Into this pastoral idyll drops the fragrant Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton). Once long ago she was a village lass with a big nose. She went off to London to make her fortune and find a plastic surgeon, and has returned to sell the family home. She is now a famous newspaper columnist with a standard-issue nose, the kind of woman men describe as healthy, when they mean so very much more.
The Hardiments are assisted by a robust local lad named Andy Cobb (Luke Evans), who has fallen on bad fortune but cheerfully does odd jobs and harbors a resentment against Tamara, whose family purchased what he still considers his family home. Once in their teen years, Andy and Tamara apparently rummaged a bit among each other's netherlands, notwithstanding her nose.