15 user 3 critic

Round Ireland with a Fridge (2010)

| Comedy, Drama
After years of performing the same comedy sketch at performances, Tony Hawks decides to find inspiration for his scripts by traveling around Ireland with a portable fridge.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Hawks ...
Tony Hawks
Valerie O'Connor ...
Roisin Mulvaney
Dylan Daley
Andy Taylor ...
Sara Crowe ...
Breffni McKenna ...
Tomás Ó Súilleabháin ...
Stephen Denver ...
Deirdra Morris ...
Chrissie Cotterill ...
Brendan Dempsey ...


After years of performing the same comedy sketch at performances, Tony Hawks decides to find inspiration for his scripts by traveling around Ireland with a portable fridge.

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Comedy | Drama


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User Reviews

Flawed but funny
24 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I will be up front with you, I came to this film highly biased and expecting good things. Let's cover the good news first. I think Tony Hawks is a very endearing and clever comedian, who wrote a marvellous and successful book "Round Ireland with a Fridge". Ed Bye is an experienced TV director who has his name associated with some of the most successful British TV comedy output of the last three decades (including Red Dwarf). The cast contains some of my favourite entertainers. The sound track contains some charming music, co-written by TH, which usually fits the film (but maybe not always). For those who love watching films with a bit of scenery, the Irish countryside in this film is first rate and very well photographed – even when it is raining.

So it's a resounding success - yes? Errr – I am so sorry Tony, for me it is a flawed gem. Something went wrong that made a film with a potential 9 out of 10 ingredients into a one that even a TH fan could only give 7/10.

So what went wrong? Well I suspect some would say quite a lot – but I only found two aspects really affected my enjoyment.

Others have already commented about wooden acting. That was exactly how I interpreted the beginning of the film too. Tony sounds like he is reading the words rather than performing the part. Having just seen him live a few hours earlier, it was hard to reconcile that it was the same man. However, around 40 minutes into the film, Tony totally changes gear and we get a lot more of his usual whimsical style. At this point, the rest of the film follows TH in changing atmosphere – for the better. The Irish actors who are introduces from this point on are playing much more interesting characters than the dull people we have met so far and playing them with more comedy.

Then I realised – the wooden acting and dull English characters were all "sort of" deliberate. You see, I think the whole idea was that we are seeing a man who, despite a meteoric rise in his early career, has lost his way. Things are so bad he is now reduced to being daytime TV regular - a second rate one at that. What the portrayal is trying to communicate is that somewhere along the way in Ireland, the magic comes back into his life. I can only assume it's supposed to be the journey "back to the real Tony". Tony is coming back from the dead, so that MIGHT be the rationale behind the initial lifeless performance.

Deliberate though the inexpressive performance might be, I think the strategy was badly misjudged and formed the first big obstacle with this film is: was I prepared to sit through 40 minutes of watching a lifeless performance from someone who (at this stage) has lost the ability to be entertaining AND seems to be on a downward trajectory? Not everyone's cup of tea I suspect, but I had "faith in the fridge" and plenty of time on my hands, so luckily I persisted.

I have wondered if radical editing might have helped with the start of the film. Maybe a 50 minute TV special would have better matched the material.

Then we hit a second problem. There is not really enough content to show the magic of the middle part of the trip and the endearing characters Tony meets on his journey, before we rush into the charming love interest story. Not all is lost as there certainly are hints of the entertainingly off-beat (comic) experiences that are so well communicated in the book, but I felt that they were rushed, particularly having spent such a long time in the wilderness.

If you are a fan of (Radio 4 style) British / Irish humour and Tony Hawks then I think you will forgive these flaws and will still be glad you watched the film, like I did. Its just a pity it did not turn out to be the faultless classic it might have been.

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