Film review: A Long Way Down

Several Nick Hornby novels have made the transition from the page to the big screen.

Colin Firth led the squad of Fever Pitch which was remade as The Perfect Catch with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon, High Fidelity failed to top the charts with John Cusack, and Hugh Grant discovered his paternal instincts in the hugely successful About A Boy.

Undated Film Still Handout from A LONG WAY DOWN. Pictured: Aaron Paul as JJ, Imogen Poots as Jess Crichton, Toni Collette as Maureen and Pierce Brosnan as Martin Sharp. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Lionsgate. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout from A LONG WAY DOWN. Pictured: Aaron Paul as JJ, Imogen Poots as Jess Crichton, Toni Collette as Maureen and Pierce Brosnan as Martin Sharp. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Lionsgate. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Next up for the big screen treatment is A Long Way Down, a novel about four seemingly disparate strangers, who form a bond when they meet on the roof of a notorious suicide spot – the fictional Toppers’ House in London – where they intend to take their lives.

There’s Maureen (Toni Collette), a sweet-natured mother who doesn’t feel like she’s doing a good job of looking after her severely disabled son, Matty; disgraced television presenter Martin Sharp (Pierce Brosnan) whose career and life have gone down the pan after he slept with a girl who, unbeknown to him, was underage; American musician JJ (Aaron Paul) whose life has lost direction since his band split up and his girlfriend dumped him; and Jess (Imogen Poots), a teenage livewire who has lost her boyfriend and is haunted by the disappearance of her older sister.

Rather than kill themselves on New Year’s Eve when they first meet, the quartet makes a pact to live for another six weeks until Valentine’s Day, but their plans are thwarted when newspapers get wind of the pact and make Jess, who is the daughter of an MP, and Martin front page news.