Movie Review: L.A. Without a Map (David Tennant)


LA Without a Map is a rom-com from early in Tennant’s career. It is entirely unremarkable (except for the “he’s so young!” factor) and unnecessary except for fan vid fodder. He owns a funeral home in the apparently small town of Bradford (Wikipedia would seem to indicate that it’s not that small…) that he inherited and is directing a funeral when he sees her from afar. She is an American tourist who is there by chance. He is infatuated at first sight, and she is flirting with the cute guy she will never see again.

Nothing special happens and she goes home. He dreams of being a writer and is frustrated with his inherited obligations and parochial existence. He is a jerk to his long time but boring girlfriend and runs away to LA spurred on by the imagined urgings of a Johnny Depp movie poster.

Armed only with a discarded book of matches he finds the waitress-actress who is flattered by his rash grand gesture and cautiously rewards his psycho-stalker behaviour.

He gracelessly pursues and woos his blonde Hollywood goddess until in a moment of weakness she marries him. We later discover that she was aware that he had no clue who she actually was and that he was in love with a stereotype and a dream but she married him anyways in a rather premature spinster avoidance move.

Totally out of his element and out of his depth, he’s flummoxed by the politics and procedures of her profession. Jealous and flailing he makes one disastrous move after another until she throws him out and eventually they have a confrontation where she ruthlessly and insightfully exposes the actual truth of their relationship. Crushed and in trouble with the law, he goes back England and his funeral home to resume his previous life.

To provide the requisite happy ending, she decides that Hollywood insanity is to blame for their troubles and she moves to the UK to be with him “they make movies here, too, don’t they?” Additionally, his horribly titled novel sells and everything is tied up with a pretty bow.

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