Misery, divorce and death – your typical British comedy!
Misery, divorce and death – your typical British comedy!About ten minutes into the film, without knowing anything about it, I thought, “this has a very ‘Outnumbered’ feel to it”. Come the credits: written and directed by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin – creators, writers and directors of that very show. And from that you can kind of guess where this film is at and how it plays out. That, in and of itself, is no bad thing, Outnumbered is an outstanding show, but one has to wonder if because its child cast have grown up, a feature film of the long suffering Brockmans family was never going to materialise, and thus our film was born.Doug and Abi McLeod have three young children, they are also going through a rough divorce causing much consternation between them and the kids. Agreeing to feign happiness for Doug’s dying father the family drive up to Scotland to celebrate his 75th birthday along with Doug’s millionaire brother. Upon arriving, however, it is clear all is not well; the ‘grown up’s’ immediately begin arguing around their own insecurities, while, conversely, Gordie lavishes kindness and love to his three grandchildren. When tragedy strikes on the beach, the kids take it upon themselves to make his last wish come true much to the disbelief of their parents, uncle and the authorities!
The story of the protagonist couple presenting a united front for the sake of a sick relative is hardly new, and indeed the way the story unfolds with arguing (grown up) siblings, and the young and old becoming ever closer, has been seen a million times before – however the situation on the beach and the interaction between the characters, both young and old, is a delight; with a childlike innocence to the ideas of death and burial soon becoming the focus in story that ties together all lose ends without drowning in syrup. All this good is countermanded by slew of ideas not fully rounded out and the story does wrap up far too quickly with a very thin excuse for all the reconciliation, which feels rushed and a little unsatisfying, but honestly, it does more good than bad and is never dull to watch; enjoyable, though, in a British sort of way.
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