the trouble with jessica film review

The Trouble With Jessica is a dark comedy starring Sarah Henderson and Alan Tudyk as dinner party hosts Sarah and Tom entertaining old friends. Old wounds are laid bare and the night takes an abrupt turn when Jessica (Indira Varma) commits suicide after an argument.

Despite the pitch-black opening, what follows is more of a farce of trying to hide the body from prospective house buyers while trying to determine what caused her to take her life. The mysteries stack as it unfolds, with more plots unravelling as it proceeds. While it reads very dark there’s a lot of levity provided by the stellar cast.

The film has the feel of a play, with it’s small cast and limited locations, but with performances from very skilled and experienced actors like these you are swept along. Tudyk is as always a little wry and enigmatic, stealing the scenes with his lines.

The premise of financial troubles and a last-minute dinner party with friends makes for an intriguing setup. Plus, the mention of Tom’s famous clafoutis adds a nice touch—food always seems to play a role in these sorts of comedies, doesn’t it? It delves into the quirks and complexities of modern middle-class life, with a side of delicious dessert drama.

There are a couple of odd performances that stand out a little – the two policeman have wandered in from a sitcom, and the always reliable Anne Reid has a slightly grating turn as a starstruck neighbour. But these are tiny niggles for a film that makes very efficient use of it’s time. It’s a decent distraction on a Sunday evening.

Why am I featuring this on my blog? Well apart from the PR company emailing me the film to watch there is constant references to Tudyk’s clafoutis. Every visitor to the house gives effusive praise to his showstopper!

Clafoutis is a delightful French dessert that’s both rustic and elegant. Traditionally made with black cherries, it consists of a batter similar to pancake batter poured over fruit and baked until puffed and golden. The result is a custardy texture with a slightly crispy edge from the caramelization of the batter.

While cherries are the classic choice, you can also make clafoutis with other fruits like berries, plums, or even pears. Some variations even incorporate chocolate or nuts for added richness and flavour.

Clafoutis originated in the Limousin region of France and is typically served lukewarm, dusted with powdered sugar. It’s a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

What I love most about clafoutis is its simplicity—it’s easy to make yet impresses with its rustic charm and delicious taste. Plus, it’s a great way to showcase seasonal fruits when they’re at their peak.

I tried out a few recipes, and present my ‘best of’ recipe below. It’s a pillowy, fluffy, sweet, dessert reminiscent of a Yorkshire pudding. It’s also dead easy, and you might have most of the ingredients to hand anyway. A good one to have on standby.

The Trouble With Jessica is a deliciously dark comedy, with a dash of drama, and a pinch of cynicism. Visit to find out more.

In UK and Irish cinemas from 5th April 2024. I was sent a copy of the film to watch.


blueberry clafoutis

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 6 people


  • blender


  • 400 g blueberries
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 ml double cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease the sides of a baking dish with a little butter or neutral oil. Scatter a teaspoon or so of sugar around the dish so it sticks all over the base and sides. Tip the blueberries into the baking dish.
  • Reserve 1 tablespoon of sugar, and put all the other ingredients with a pinch of salt into a blender and whizz on high speed for 20-30 seconds until it resembles a frothy milkshake. Pour over the blueberries and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  • As you take it out of the oven scatter over the remaining sugar. Allow to cool until it has settled back down into the dish, then serve warm with cream or ice cream.


If you don't have a blender you can whisk by hand - but this dessert is super quick if you have one!

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