Piccadilly Jim (Sam Rockwell) may hail from across the Atlantic from Wooster and Jeeves, but he lives in London and inhabits the same PG Wodehouse universe of starchy, censorious grande dames and oddly named upper-class twits. He is, of course, an inveterate playboy and ne'er-do-well newspaper gossip columnist, never mind that it's of a column that he doesn't actually write. And naturally, he meets the spunky girl of his dreams (Frances O'Connor). But because this is Wodehouse, adapted by Oscar® winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) and directed by John McKay (Crush), that means Jim must resort to pretending to be someone else pretending to be Piccadilly Jim, while his butler pretends to be his father and his father pretends to be a butler. Piccadilly Jim is stylish and stylized silliness in the grand manner, set in London and New York and aboard a fabulous ocean liner; in an aristocratic world where everyone is always just coming to after some drunken party, is in high dudgeon, or is busily carrying out some hare-brained plan, or just carrying on with a stiff upper lip; or is completely potted, or just simply in love. The film features period costumes that refashion the '30s as harbingers of the retro '70s, plus futuristic '30s-deco sets and contemporary pop music, including a swinging rendition of "Tainted Love."
Like many Scotsmen, John McKay was convinced he didn't like P.G. Wodehouse until he actually took the trouble to read some of his work. Now he has a groaning bookshelf devoted to aunts, golf, and the tight spots a chap can get himself into. After working in theater and comedy in Scotland, McKay moved to London to write for television. He subsequently trained as a director at the National Film School and Television School. Piccadilly Jim is his second feature film. McKay's debut feature Crush starred Andie MacDowell, Imelda Staunton, and Anna Chancellor. His television credits include The Miller's Tale and Psychos.