Regular readers of my comments know that I take each movie as a special challenge. Some movies are rewarding in themselves, they intrinsically enrich or give value. Most are less than that and require work to make the experience valuable or at least interesting.
Sometimes the challenge is significant. Readers have been sending me movies to test my ability, sort of like audience members throwing chain saws to jugglers. There's a really challenging batch in my pouch right now, some Abbott and Costello nuisances, and ALL of the Mother Riley things.
Of them, this is the most challenging, which is to say that it has nothing in it that by itself is remotely interesting. There's none of the ordinary leverage you can get with bad movies: nothing in the badness is comically bad.
Its quite simply unsuccessful in its two goals.
The setup is Mrs Riley, played by a man and his on screen daughter played by his wife. She's so much younger that early in their careers they were advertised as father and daughter.
She's alarmingly unattractive. Mrs Riley is nauseatingly unfunny. Usually when jokes don't work, it is because there's a certain ticklish spot that some folks have and you just fall out of the demographic. So you can dismiss it as bad humor, but in doing so you acknowledge that it IS humor.
The funny bit with Mrs Riley is rooted in the Bristish class system and a specific niche. This is a lot like Eddie Murphy playing a fat black mama. We all know the type. We all recognize what Murphy is playing with. But in 50 years, that stereotype will be gone, the class structure will have mutated and the riff will be completely incomprehensible because its center will have evaporated.
Well, that's what happened here. The joke about a specific type of old bag may have had resonance in its time and place it surely did. But now, it is fossilized humor.
The story is unique for the Riley serious, I think. It tries to have the old family lost and regained plot. Well, that I can be sure of is merely incompetent.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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