The unexpected death of her husband sends a woman and her seven children, ages 2-14, into emotional turmoil and financial crisis in 1967 Dublin. She is forced to borrow money from a ... See full summary »
The time of the French revolution, and Citizen Robespierre is beheading the French aristocracy. When word gets to England, two noblemen, Sir Rodney Ffing and Lord Darcy take it upon ... See full summary »
When Moore Street market-trader Agnes Brown finds her livelihood under threat from a ruthless developer, she and her family embark on a campaign to save her stall, aided as only the Browns will be by a motley troop of blind trainee Ninjas, an alcoholic solicitor, and a barrister with Tourettes Syndrome. Written by
WILHELM SCREAM can be heard when Buster is driving the Tuk Tuk alongside the Liffey. The scream is heard from a pedestrian who has to jump the railings to escape the Tuk Tuks' path. See more »
When Dermot and Maria visit Mrs Brown at her stall at the beginning of the film (when Dermot is wearing the gecko costume) in some shots the bunch of papers he is holding has a rubber band around them, and some there isn't. See more »
If reviews were to be believed, we would all think D'Movie was a film about Nazis that clubbed baby seals to death. That's literally the reception this movie has received; I haven't seen a single good one. Even massive fans seem to have been bitterly disappointed with it. In spite of this, I attended a screening of it this evening (with my expectations lowered to subterranean levels, granted).
Now, the series has never been a critical favourite. It has been slated and dragged through the mud since its inception and to be fair, I can see why. I'm a casual admirer of the series but it's very, very old fashioned. So dated is the humour, it could pass for a BBC sitcom from the 70's were it not for the HD format. Its brand of humour is also very, well, cheap. Easy. Not that that's a bad thing... per say. It's certainly still funny. It works mostly because it's too jovial to dislike. The actors aren't great but they get the job done, and O'Carrol is admittedly fantastic as Mrs. Brown.
So, what happened D'Movie? The truth is, the big screen magnifies every little flaw the series has. Small things that are forgivable or even enjoyable in half-hour- interrupted-by-a-break format are downright deal breaking in this longer, less digestible format. The acting is showed up as being absolutely terrible, and the constant childish and cheap humour that gives us a laugh on telly wears thin very quickly here. The expanded scope of the plot also means that a lot of the better, more subtle family related and situational humour from the series is lost because it simply doesn't have a place here. Sure, there are a few laughs but not many for a film this long, and many "jokes" are simply embarrassing. One of the very worst is when O'Carrol loses the wig and plays a "Chinese" man by squinting his eyes and speaking in a clichéd and very stereotypical manner. That stops being funny by the time people turn 10; what's it doing here, dragged on for a laborious amount of time?
This also highlights another problem from the series that gets magnified here; the every so slight mean streak running through the script. I'm not going to call them "racist" or "discriminatory", because they're not, but such blatant use of stereotyping in place of humor really pushes its luck in a film that already calls for near-charity for it to be laughed at. If I was Russian or Chinese I'm pretty sure I'd find this film offensive; for that matter, I am gay, and watching I realized that the character Rory is a other embarrassing stereotype milked aggressively for laughs, and to be honest it's almost insulting. Don't get me wrong; humour riffing on stereotypes can be great (which, to be fair, is done very well in the series), but here it just wallows in it instead of creating comedy, and it feels plain mean, which is an absolute pity when the few laughs it did get were actually from the more good natured jokes.
Other problems arise just from the sheer laziness from other facets of production. The opening sequence is just abysmal, featuring the kind of "dancing" that would be considered embarrassing in a village pantomime (literally); a problem not helped by the fact it's repeated at the end instead of a proper finale, like the brilliant sing song at the end of one of the episodes on telly. The soundtrack is downright atrocious, too, often with cliché orchestral cues when a joke is cracked, or typical weepy music when something sad is happening. By the time one of Westlife's dreadful ballads rolls around in one of the key scenes, you may just need the sick bucket.
So far I've slated the movie, and to be honest I could go on and on because it's just an excruciatingly bad film. It really, really is an absolute disaster; if this hadn't been a television series before this was released, I probably would have given it a 1, honestly. But, as I say up top, it's a generous 2. Why? Well,truth be told, one thing shines through; it has a lot of spirit, which at times nearly (NEARLY) makes up for all the flaws. As I said, Brendan is honest to god fantastic as Mrs. Brown; nobody could play her better. The few laughs the film does manage are enough to remind you how really funny the series is, too, even though they show how bad the rest of the film is. None of these things save this production though; with this script, nothing could have.
I feel like I've over-analyzed this film, but I don't think I have, really. It simply doesn't work, and I've tried to root out the reasons why. Many people might think that none of these things matter, well, I say otherwise. Good film comedy runs like an engine, and this one has too many small problems under the hood to really get going, eventually just becoming one big problem. I've heard Mr. O'Carrol plans on making a trilogy; let's hope next time (if there is one) he manages to weed out the problems present here to make something closer in quality to the series.
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