Unlike Elton John and ABBA, Take That never broke America, so their jukebox musical doesn’t have Rocketman or Mamma Mia’s Hollywood dollars to fund its trip down memory lane.
As director Coky Giedroyc’s adaptation of Tim Firth’s 2017 stage production is a British film, it has to rely on a certain ramshackle charm to paper over its slightly cheap-looking song-and-dance routines.
Thankfully, her excellent cast and her choreographer Drew McOnie have that in abundance. Irish comic Aisling Bea is hugely likeable as Rachel O’Flynn, a children’s ward nurse haunted by a tragedy she suffered as a teen.
When she wins a radio contest offering an all-expenses-paid trip to see 90s group The Boys stage a comeback concert in Athens, she contemplates a reunion of her own.
Snubbing her clingy partner Geoff (Marc Wootton), she invites her three best pals from school – Claire (Jayde Adams), Heather (Alice Lowe) and Zoe (Amaka Okafor) – to revisit their favourite boy band from their teenage years.
Flashbacks to 1990s’ Clitheroe introduce us to their 16-year-old selves as they prepare to see The Boys in Manchester.
A younger Rachel (Lara McDonnell) is so excited, she imagines the lads performing Pray in her kitchen. These fantasy sequences recur as a sporadically amusing and touching script jumps between the 90s and the present day.
In the past, the girls gyrate with their idols on a bus to Relight My Fire, as the driver drags up to sing Lulu’s part.
Most entertaining is an easyJet flight that turns into a Busby Berkeley-inspired song and dance routine with the air hostesses kicking their legs to Shine.
“And this could be the greatest day of our lives,” sings Gary Barlow in the title track. And it could also be the most British musical sequence we’ll ever experience.
Greatest Days, Cert 12A, In cinemas now