Saturday, 9 May 2015

Loved Up (1995)

After pulling an all-nighter to watch the election results come in and finding myself totally depressed, I needed something to lift my spirits yesterday and that something was a much needed rewatch of the 1995 classic BBC2 film Loved Up.

Written by Ol Parker and directed by Peter Cattaneo, just two years before the surprising success of The Full Monty, Loved Up was a film in a BBC2 season called Love Bites produced in association with the BBC Drama department and Scene, the BBC's education arm, which meant that subsequently, Loved Up was screened several times in the abridged format of two 30 minute episodes for BBC Schools. In fact, you can still see this version on the BBC's Scene website.

Young raver Tom, played by Ian Hart, meets Sarah (Lena Headey) in the cafe in which she works. Sarah has just had a row with her alcoholic mother (Linda Bassett) and, attracted to both Tom and his seemingly easy, assured and optimistic outlook, she is quickly swept up in the clubbing, E popping lifestyle he enjoys, where she finds an escape from all her family pressures.

Loved Up is notable for producing a completely accurate and impartial depiction of the scene at the time. Basically, if you want to know what the 1990s were like, watched Loved Up. It doesn't wag its finger from the moral high ground and it doesn't just depict the club scene as perfect and wholly positive, it just offers a very real snapshot in a balanced, entertaining and informative way - no wonder the Schools programmes picked up on it.

A great cast who have all gone on to better things - Hart, Headey and Jason Isaacs as the dealer Dez 2, as well as smaller roles for Philip Glenister and hell, even the awful Danny Dyer - combined with a fantastic throbbing soundtrack that doesn't fail to lift my spirits from the likes of Leftfield, Orbital, Spooky and The Prodigy makes Loved Up required viewing for anyone with an interest in '90s culture.

Loved Up was released on BBC Video in the '90s but hasn't, to my knowledge, been released onto DVD. It is available to view, unabridged and in full, on YouTube.

To get the BBC to consider repeating some of these classic plays please sign the petition I started here


  1. Eurgh, I was thinking your misery would match my misery, you were the first person I thought about after the depressing result.

    I don't think I ever watched this, it sounds right up my street, as you know I'm incredibly nostalgic for the 90s.

    1. As my post on Friday morning said, I feel like someone's died. Took me ages to rouse myself out of the depths of depression and write something; since then I've just turned to good film and tele to help take my mind off it.

      Ooh I'd definitely recommend this then, its pretty good quality on YT too. Cracking soundtrack, instantly lifts the mood!

    2. Just remember, be angry, not depressed!