From ostensible Brit comedians Phil Cornwell and John Sessions and a producer of Monty Python and the Holy Grail comes this ill-advised TV-skit expansion set. At least SNL routines given the big-screen treatment elicit a chuckle or two; Stella Street goes from can-I-laugh-yet? to wanna-go-home in about three minutes. The strenuous scenario: An otherwise anonymous suburban street becomes the residence of choice for a flock of celebs—Alfie-era Michael Caine, leisure-shirted Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman hoo-ha mode, Tattoo You vintage Mick and Keith, Bowie circa Let’s Dance—who want to live normal, homebody lives. The referents above should be a warning: The ideal viewer, if she exists at all, lives on the other side of the pond and hasn’t picked up Hello! or switched on the telly since approximately 1992.
The A-listers interact with the street’s regular folk, playing cricket and whatnot, and you will begin to think about the nature of time, indeed of mortality, as sketch after sketch plods mirthlessly along. A huge problem with the whole shebang is that the impressions (all courtesy Cornwell and Sessions) are shaky at best; with the American targets, a British accent creeps in. Is it too unkind to say that I’d rather watch an evening of Rich Little specials, a wish heretofore not only unarticulated but unimaginable?