"A Room for Romeo Brass," the second feature from British director Shane Meadows, has its virtues and liabilities. Like his previous film, 1997's "TwentyFourSeven" Meadows develops some strong dramatic ideas about contemporary British life, especially about the hopes of the younger generation who have grown up in the wake of the Thatcher era. But his biggest weakness here (as in his first effort) is in developing the characters so that they can enrich the themes he's working with. In "A Room for Romeo Brass," he concentrates on the friendship between two young boys, Romeo (Andrew Shim) and Gavin (Ben Marshall), who have fathers who are absent in their lives. When a simple-minded man, Morell (Paddy Considine), comes into their lives to fill that emotional gap, he turns out to be a psychopath who threatens the bond between them. The film might have been stronger if we understood more clearly how and why Morell succeeded in dividing and conquering their friendship, but we're given so little that we're just supposed to believe it. By the end, "A Room for Romeo Brass" only makes room for gothic melodrama. Starring Andrew Shim, Ben Marshall, Paddy Considine, Vicky McClure and Bob Hoskins. Directed by Shane Meadows. Written by Shane Meadows and Paul Fraser. Produced by George Faber and Charles Pattinson. A USA release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 90 min.