My Accomplice is a will-they/won’t-they drama with funny bits in it about two people falling in love who are scared. Frank is scared because he’s never let himself fall in love before, and Ilse is scared because she has. But they both have a sense that falling in love is the part that’s easy – it’s what comes afterwards that’s hard. The idiots’ dance of love they perform, although choreographed to their own uniquely mal-coordinated steps, should therefore still be resonant to anyone who’s ever met someone they like and proceeded unerringly, albeit in a bewildered crab-like fashion, towards whatever intimate form of disaster fate has devised for them.
It’s also a film about life in Brighton – a happy-go-lucky seaside city that hides it’s insecurities via an enforced devotion to its abundance of pubs – featuring songs and live performances from local bands Transformer, Bob Wants His Head Back and The Mountain Firework Company, an ill-starred search for the village of Wivelsfield, the personal politics of perestroika in the wider context of David Hasselhoff, apricot flapjacks, abruptly unpredictable weather, accumulating evidence of a seagull conspiracy, and a small cast of everyday eccentrics that usually don’t make it into films: Bulgarians, adults with learning disabilities, very tall women and elective mutes. In a city of this many vulnerable adults, Frank and Ilse might never have met . . .