Biopics seldom stick closely to the truth. It’s too tempting to exaggerate the qualities and forget the flaws.
This is different because it’s the Americans what done it.
Paul Potts was a shy, chubby Carphone Warehouse manager from Bristol who won the first Britain’s Got Talent TV show in 2007. His rendition of Nessum Dorma has been watched on U-Tube by more than 300 million people.
Paul Potts is no Brad Pitt. James Corden, who plays him, is a handsome stallion by comparison. And yet his rags to bags story hits the feelgood market way up in the high seventies.
But, hey, isn’t sugar bad for you?
The American scriptwriter Justin Zackham (The Big Wedding) and director David Frankel (The Devil Wore Prada) have poured treacle over the Potts phenomenon. Simon Cowell is one of the producers. It’s all about money, babe, sweet, sweet money.
Bristol has become Port Talbot, although Corden is the only one without a Welsh accent.
Pott’s dad (Colm Meaney) is a metal worker instead of a bus driver and keeps reminding his fat son what a failure he is.
Mum (Julie Walters) compensates with warm encouragement.
The love interest works well, thanks to Alexandra Roach and, of course, the emotions are suitably manipulated for the grand finale in front of the BGT judges.
One Chance is the title of Potts’ debut album. It topped the charts in nine countries. The film is unlikely to do the same with its formula of soft corn and operatic favourites.
What’s next? The Susan Boyle Story, with Imelda Staunton?