Writing the script and playing the lead character in Starstruck is the hilarious comedian Rose Matafeo – here she is Jessie, a twentysomething who lives in a flat-share with her best mate Kate. She’s a bit awkward, has a dead-end job and she spends her weekends shagging randoms.
It does all sound very Phoebe Waller-Bridge doesn’t it? And to be honest, after Fleabag, our standards for millennial rom-coms have changed a bit – now we go in expecting belly laughs, and dark emotional moments with an utterly relatable protagonist and near perfect writing. And, thus far, we’ve haven’t found a show to match it. We’ve tried too – we watched all of I Hate Suzie, and gave Sara Pascoe’s Out of Her Mind a go too.
And unfortunately, this one also just isn’t quite as sparky as the brilliant Fleabag, but it is nevertheless, absolutely worth a watch. Jessie, after one of her routine weekend one night stands, finds out that her just-for-the-night lover is actually a film star called Tom Kapoor (Nikesh Patel). Anyone who has ever been single in London will happily tell you that this is entirely implausible, partly because you’re more likely to find out your weekend shag was, at best, a dental hygienist from Corby, and also because you’re more likely to never learn their name at all. But regardless, off we go on a very millennial adventure to see whether the pair will or won’t get together.
It is properly funny, too. Matafeo is bang on with her comedic timing, and very good at the self-deprecating humour that Brits love, and Jessie’s chemistry with the calm and collected Tom is really enjoyable to watch.
The Times’s Carol Midgley thinks you should give this a go, saying that “Matafeo has funny bones. She’s worth watching.” The Guardian’s Lucy Mangan says: “her timing is as immaculate as you would expect from an experienced standup, and her various foot-in-mouth moments arise from a convincingly galumphing, garrulous nature instead of the grating dizziness-in-proximity-to-a-man that we usually get from the genre.” And Anita Singh of The Telegraph would have to agree. She says: “the whole thing is held together by Matafeo, who seems destined for big things.”
First shown April 2021. You can watch the trailer here: