Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, 1988, British, Miramax, 98 minutes, color. Directed by Stephen Frears. Screenplay by Hanif Kureishi. Cast includes Shashi Kapoor as Rafi Rahman, Frances Barber as Rosie Hobbs, Claire Bloom as Alice, Ayub Khan-Din as Sammy, Roland Gift as Danny/Victoria, Wendy Gazelle as Anna, Meera Syal as Anna, Suzette Llewelly as Vivia, Badi Uzzaman as Cabbie/The Ghost. Rating: Eight stars out of 10.
By Doug Gibson
Sammy and Rosie Get Laid is a film that defines the end of a generation. It's the mid-1980s and the sexual and political revolutions of the 1960s still flourish, but definitely as a counter-culture. The ideas, as Rosie puts it, of "Freedom plus commitment" is being rejected by a British society that has embraced Margaret Thatcher and the ideals of strict conservative morality and capitalism. Still, in a pocket of color within London, Sammy, an immigrant accountant and his wife Rosie, a social worker, thrive. They are in love and have lovers. Sammy is currently having an affair with Wendy, an American artist with Ws tattoed on both buttocks. As Anna explains, everytime she bends over it spells WOW. Rosie will soon bed an attractive black squatter called Victoria (played by Fine Young Cannibals singer Gift) by those who like him. Sammy and Rosie like their life. They spend weekends at plays, essays, classes, and walking through their city, London. As they exclaim, they are Londoners, not Brits. An eclectic crowd surrounds them of gays, homeless, artists, council (public housing) dwellers, squatters, immigrant shopkeepers, scared, vicious police, and riots. However, life is changing. Sammy and Rosie's part of London is beginning to percolate as racial tensions and injustice bubble to the surface. The police kill a black woman who thought her home was being invaded. Before the film is over, the neighborhood will at times begin to resemble 1980s Beirut.