Starter for 10, where the classes mix
In 2006 I was in the throes of parenthood, Ciara would have been aged 6. I am beginning to think I missed a few things one of which was the film, ‘Starter for 10’. I caught up 17 years later thanks to BBC iplayer.
Starter for 10 (film) - Wikipedia
Starter for 10 is a 2006 British comedy-drama film directed by Tom Vaughan from a screenplay by David Nicholls, adapted…
The film features a lot of what were then young British actors, James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall, Dominic Cooper, James Corden and Benedict Cumberbatch.
I can’t recall many British films that capture ‘the university experience’. I hear someone say ‘Educating Rita’. Well yes but that captured an older woman going to University. I am thinking of the rite of passage undergone by 37.9% of 18 years olds.
Brian Jackson (McAvoy) leaves his home in Southend on Sea, Essex having secured a place at Bristol University. Bristol is a ‘Red Brick University’ which creates a class distinction in that they are perceived to be better than those Polytechnics that became ‘New Universities’
Brian comes from a working-class family although it seemed to me that they owned their home. But then class evolves as society evolves so these days you could still be working class and own your own home. Working class is probably about how you are perceived by such things as your accent (many of the middle class will tell you they haven't got an accent), your parents' occupations and maybe whether you went to state or private school.
Brian sees himself as working class but well able to compete at a Red Brick. Compete academically but what about socially? Well for me this is what the film gives us a glimpse into particularly when his mate from home Spencer shows up. While Brian may have blended in Spencer has no reason to hence it is through Spencer’s eye that we see the culture clash of Brian in a dominant middle-class world.
It was also a reminder that many of us exist within our own communities whose culture only shows when we are thrown into the mix of a University setting.