Animals (15)**

Dir: Sophie Hyde

With: Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat, Fa Free, Dermot Murphy

Runtime: 109 minutes

BASED on the novel by Emma Jane Unsworth, Animals is a Dublin-set tale of best friends Laura and Tyler (Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat). Laura and Tyler have been besties for what seems like forever. They love nothing more than getting wasted on wine of an evening and rocking back to their boho-chic flat, where Tyler lets loose a never ending stream of wisecracks and Laura makes more notes for the novel she has been trying to write for the past decade. Meanwhile, everyone else is getting on with their lives, but who cares? Laura, long fearing she has lived too long in Tyler’s shadow, starts to care.

A fine idea, best friends growing apart, but my goodness this is painfully dreary. Tyler’s wannabe Dorothy Parker act dies a death early on, and watching Laura’s attempts to write is about as interesting as it sounds. As for the depiction of Dublin as packed with poetry-writing pseuds, what has the poor old town done to deserve this fate? ALISON ROWAT