‘Timid Eton choirmaster Miles and brassy New York lawyer Bess are poles apart. For their mutual aristocratic friend Jacob to get them together should have taken all his wit and ingenuity, and approximately two hours of bumbling, social faux-pas and quaint English villages,’ explained an anonymous insider, ‘but the actors decided to improvise, and instead of a two minute skit on the different English and American meanings of the word ‘shag’, they were getting jiggy with it at the Highland Ball before the establishing shots of Uncle Bertram’s country estate were even in the can, the dirty buggers.’
Writer and director Curtis is reported to be privately furious about the changes his leads have imposed on his script, but is too polite and embarrassed to say anything about it directly, and instead keeps hiding under the stairs while his principals romp enthusiastically for hours on end. The rest of the cast have offered to help out, but the dotty maiden aunt, spunky sister-in-law, and flamboyantly gay friend, have all failed to convincingly explain the poor etiquette the two good-looking single people with an obvious sexual chemistry are showing in embarking on a mutually satisfying adult relationship before Rowan Atkinson has even shown up for his cameo.
The set has now been closed while Curtis uses his legendary skills in weaving together romantic storylines with mildly eccentric characters and delightfully embarrassing misunderstandings in a last ditch effort to keep Miles and Bess apart from each other long enough for the film to be completed. Already lined up are Rupert Penry-Jones as David, the ruggedly handsome ex-fiancé, Freema Agyeman as Melissa, the nymphomaniac vicar’s daughter, and Peter Crouch as himself.