Starter for Ten

Rated NR

He sizzled with conviction opposite Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland, but James McAvoy fizzles in this plain coming-of-age romantic comedy. McAvoy stars as a nerdy working-class freshman at a swank British university in the mid-’80s. He joins a team of brainiacs to compete in a Jeopardy!-like game show. Mr. Smarty Pants struggles with the age-old puzzle of deciding between the bad blond bombshell and the witty political babe; meanwhile, he attends anti-apartheid protests and smokes pot. David Nicholls adapted his own novel for Tom Vaughan to direct, but the captivating pages of prose fall flat on the big screen.

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