Forget the bad weather. Forget the crooked teeth. Forget the quiet, reserved, tea-drinking aristocrat. We are fast painting a new image of Britain: an image of a nation with a drinking problem.
British adults now drink on average 180 bottles of wine a year, or 1137 pints of beer. This means that we Brits now officially drink more alcohol than we drink tea. We drink when we go out, and we drink when we stay in. We even drink BEFORE we go out to drink. It’s almost as if alcohol has become an essential prelude to any form of social engagement: a beer before the date with the hot girl, a couple of vodkas before work, a bottle of whisky before that dreaded trip to the dentist.
Whereas alcohol consumption across Europe has steadily decreased over the past 40 years, in Britain it has risen dramatically, with nearly a 50% rise in alcohol related hospital admissions in the past 10 years alone. Alcohol abuse causes 20,000 deaths and £22 billion of damage to our society each year, and we are showing no signs of slowing down. We start drinking younger and are drinking more and more.
A Royal Hangover is a film about the ambivalent alcohol culture of Britain. Think Bowling For Columbine, only with alcohol instead of guns. Drinking for Britain: We don’t shoot ourselves to death here, we kill ourselves with drink - much more dignified! Why are things so different here? What sets us apart from our brothers and sisters in Europe, or our cousins across the pond? Are we aware of the extent of our problem? Do we even care?
Critically acclaimed independent filmmaker, and accomplished non-drinker Arthur Cauty takes us on an alternately hilarious and shocking journey deep into the roots of our Great British drinking problem, in an attempt to decipher our thirst for the booze, and what can be done about it.
Maybe one day Britain will wake up without a hangover.