Ten Things I Learned from “This Year’s Love”


Last night I finally got around to watching This Year’s Love. It’s the 1999 Indie film that provided Richard Armitage’s screen debut in a very small but memorable role as the delightfully named “Smug Man at Party.”  Richard’s character obviously finds tattoo artist Danny (Henshall) completely out of place at  the posh party his partner Sophie (Jennifer Ehle) the rich rebel, has him attend.

Richard looking very handsome and suitably smug, given his role, with two unidentified actors in a scene from This Year’s Love.

Here’s the link to the snippet from the film that features Richard:

The film has a strong ensemble cast led by Jennifer Ehle and Douglas Henshall and a great soundtrack. It follows the misadventures of six young people in Camdentown, London as they keep searching for Mr. or Miss Right.  It’s funny but also quite painful in parts, not unlike real life, I suppose. It’s an interesting film and worth seeing even without RA’s film debut.

Now, here’s a list of things I learned while watching the film:

1. Don’t let your new husband find out you cheated on him with a friend’s husband on your wedding day. It doesn’t bode well for the future.
2. Never get drunk with a tattoo artist and let him tattoo your bum. It doesn’t bode well for the future.
3. Never get involved with a womanizing artist who never washes his hair. It doesn’t—hey, you get the idea.
4. Lizzie Bennett with long blonde dreadlocks and tattoos but still speaking posh is slightly disconcerting.
 5. Either have an excellent ear for Scottish accents or use the subtitles if you want to understand a large portion of the dialogue spoken by Douglas Henshall and Dougray Scott, or, as I like to think of them, the Two Dougies. (Fortunately, I have the former.)
6. It’s a heck of a lot better than Cleopatra (not that most things aren’t), but you don’t get to see Richard’s legs.  *sigh*
7. I sometimes miss Richard’s floppy hair. Reminds me of Harry and early Guy. *sigh*
 8. “The cast of Trainspotting gate-crashing Four Weddings and a Funeral” is a pretty apt description of the film. Posh mixed with squalor. Humor mixed with despair and tragedy.
9. Kathy Burke is a wonderful actress. I think I had only seen her on a chat show prior to watching this film.
10. Richard Armitage has always looked just swell in a tux.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

20 responses »

    • Those “looks” of his are unforgettable. I knew Ehle was in it and had seen the clip, but had completely forgotten about the dreadlocks. She pulled off the look well, I thought. It was just startling in the beginning, as it hasn’t been that long since I last saw her in P&P and also playing a politician’s wife in The Ides of March. Dark hair and very different styles, of course.

  1. I watched the film quite soon after discovering Richard, must have been in early 2011. There was a VHS tape available in the library! You have made such good and interesting points there, Angie, that I feet I really should watch it again:) But I just checked: they don’t have it in the library any more, so I suppose I just have to make do with the Richard bits on YT 😉

    Have forgotten just about everything about the plot, but I remember finding Jennifer Ehle’s character somewhat interesting – and Richard looks truly handsome!

    • I found the DVD really cheap online and that’s how I ended up with it. I thought it would be a nice addition to my RA collection–what with it being his first role (and he does have a line! “It’s a Canaletto.” 😉 ) And hey, he does look gorgeous. He was made to wear a tuxedo. And it was fun to see some of these other actors earlier in their careers, too.

  2. I haven’t been particularly interested in this film but you made me want to watch it! I have not been disappointed in anything you recommended to watch or read so far! And you turned me into a GoT fan, which I never thought would happen! Jennifer had blonde locks in “Bedrooms and Hallways” too but I think brown hair suits her better. Maybe I’m just partial to brunettes being one myself.. 🙂

    • It has an interesting assortment of characters, and as in real life, everyone doesn’t get a happy ending. There are a number of rather unlikely coincidences, but hey, it’s a movie. 😉

      That GoT sneaks up and grabs you, doesn’t it? 😉 I have the cutest picture of Maisie as Arya that I need to post sometimes. Ran across it somewhere on the net.

      Jennifer is a natural blonde, but I tend to prefer her with darker hair myself. I’m not sure if that is from seeing her in P&P and Possession with the dark wigs or not.

      • I prefer Jennifer Ehle with darker hair too but I think it is because I saw her first with darker hair.

        I was just streaming a movie on Netflix titled The Man Who Cried. It is based on the book by Catherine Cookson. It stars Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root. Amanda Root is one of my favorite British Actresses. I was just looking up her bio and it seems that she has never married either. I think she is very pretty. I love her large dark expressive eyes. I wonder if RA would be interested in her. Amanda is older than RA but not by too much. I think they would make a cute couple.

        • Amanda and Richard acted together in The Impressionists. She played Alice, I do believe. She does indeed have lovely big brown eyes. Amanda and Ciaran were very good together in the 90s version of Persuasion. I have it on DVD, much preferring it to the more recent version with RPJ and Sally Hawkins. Haven’t seen the Cookson adaptation you are watching.

          We just can’t resist matchmaking for our boy, can we? 😉

          • Oh yes, how could I forget that Amanda Root was in The Impressionist with Richard. Well, I guess if she didn’t make an impression on him then I can just forget it. Back to square one. I can’t quite picture him with now divorced Kate Winslet. I always seem to picture RA with someone either his own age or a little older.

            I loved Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds in Persuaion. Ciaran was a little old to be playing Captain Wentworth but I still love him in the role. I have the DVD too. I just watched the version with RPJ and I thought it was awful.

            • I love Rupert but I thought he was really too pretty for Wentworth. I mean, he’d been at sea for several years and should have looked at least a little weather-beaten, right? And I like Sally Hawkins in other things but not here; she seemed miscast. The ending was a good example of how NOT to do an anachronistic kiss. Plus, I had already seen the Root/Hinds version and liked it so much, this just seemed to really pale in comparison.

            • As far as I’m aware, Kate Winslet is currently dating a guy named Ned Rocknroll, who is Richard Branson’s nephew. Apparently he changed his name from Abel Smith by deed poll. I like Kate as an actress but…to date somebody named Rocknroll.. Come on.

              • Oh, my. Reminds me of this American football player who changed his last name to Ochocinco because the number on his uniform was 08. He is planning to change it back now, I understand.

  3. I love it that Richard can be smug and smoulder at the same time! 😉
    I’ve only seen this on YT, not enough of him to tempt me to buy the DVD. Your post prompted me to check if it’s available on Quickflix, but sadly, it’s not.

  4. I saw this a long time ago for Jennifer Ehle, before I knew about RA, and really enjoyed it. It is the epitome of un-romantic and as I tend to be quite un-romantic I liked that! I find it so funny that Mr. Thornton gets in a row with Elizabeth Bennett’s boyfriend, even if strictly speaking that is not Mr. Darcy.

    • Yeah, as I think I said (brain’s a little muddled at moment) everyone certainly does not get a happily ever after. I hadn’t even thought of that aspect of it–Thornton fighting Lizzie’s intended LOL He should never have mentioned the Canaletto. That coupled with those superior little smiles sealed Smug Man at Party’s fate. 😉

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