The stars of Starstruck are big rom-com fans (Picture: PolyGram/Filmed Entertainment/BBC)
BBC’s new rom-com series Starstruck, starring co-writer Rose Matafeo in the lead role, subverts several tropes commonly found in the genre with its witty dialogue and scene-stealing performances.
And yet, one can’t help but notice the parallels and influences of other classic romantic-comedies, such as Notting Hill – where a celebrity and a member of the public fall for each other – and Bridesmaids – which celebrates the joys of female friendship, complete with its ups and downs.
Starstruck stars Rose as Jessie, a woman who has a one night stand with a guy called Tom (Nikesh Patel) on New Year’s Eve… only to discover the next day that he’s a famous film star.
During a recent chat with Metro.co.uk, Emma Sidi, Rose’s real-life best friend who plays Jessie’s housemate Kate, opened up about how Rose and her co-writer Alice Snedden veered away from ‘hackneyed tropes’, despite the odd nod to rom-coms of old.
In episode three, Kate is running a murder mystery dinner party at her and Jessie’s flat when Tom turns up, much to the amazement of their guests.
Emma admitted that you ‘can’t get away from’ the comparisons to Notting Hill in that moment, ‘because in so many ways it is like a gender reversal’ of the 1999 Richard Curtis film, when Hugh Grant invites Julia Roberts over for dinner to meet his friends.
Tom visits Jessie’s place during a murder mystery dinner party (Picture: BBC/Avalon UK/Mark Johnson)
‘Rose and I, we love movies like that, and so does Alice who wrote it – I think we’re unashamed mega fans of classic rom-coms. So I think there’s no hiding from that,’ the W1A actor said.
Emma added that one of their favourite TV series is Dawson’s Creek, which sees them ‘scream every time [characters] kiss’ while watching the teen drama.
Everyone fails to keep their cool at the Notting Hill dinner party (Picture: Clive Coote/Polygram/Kobal/REX)
Looking at other aspects of Starstruck, Emma said that she found some parts ‘similar to Bridesmaids as well’, drawing on ‘the key female friendship in that and the way you can communicate together as well as the falling out’.
Referencing a scene in Starstruck when Jessie and Kate are arguing, Emma said: ‘There’s something I can really relate to with female friendships – that you have huge highs and the really horrible lows when you’re not getting on.
‘I’ve found it’s worse to fall out with a female friend than it is with a boyfriend or a partner, because it’s so complicated and it’s so bound up in support and an incredible love. So when you feel you’re not on the same page, I think us women… it really hurts us. I think that’s something Rose really captured.’
Bridesmaids celebrates the complexities of female friendship (Picture: Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures)
Emma added that while she feels there is a ‘slight Broad City’ sense in the show, she said that ‘it feels outrageous to compare myself or us to them because that is sort of the pinnacle of female friendship comedy’.
Not only does the dinner party scene bear a resemblance to Notting Hill, but it was also based on a real-life situation that Emma and Rose were a part of… albeit without a globally famous film star.
‘That is a total real life event that happened in 2018,’ Emma disclosed. ‘Rose was seeing someone at the time, they weren’t a huge celebrity, but there was that sort of energy of role-playing as well as having an actual romantic situation going on.’
In Emma’s opinion, she reckons her and Rose’s friends are going to take the mick out of them for basing several of the moments in Starstruck to real events from their lives.
‘Rose and I were saying all our friends are just going to laugh at us and be like, “You guys are a joke that you’ve made this show about your life,”’ she said.
Starstruck is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and returns on BBC One on Monday at 10.30pm.
Credit: Original article published here.