Title: Wild Mountain Thyme
Director: John Patrick Shanley.
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama.
Main Cast: Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, John Hamm, Christopher Walken.
Runtime: 102 mins.
IMDb rating: 5.7/10.
My rating: 4/10.
Quick summary: Rosemary and Anthony live on neighbouring farms, and the two seem to be the perfect match. The problem is, Anthony is painfully shy and can barely look in her direction. Anthony’s father is also keeping the farm from his son in his will which leads to tension amongst the two besotted farmers. Throw a handsome American cousin into the mix and you have Ireland’s next romcom.
It’s been a while since I wrote a good old fashioned movie review! I’ve been busy with college, work and many other excuses but I’m feeling the creative buzz again, so here is what will hopefully be the first post of many!
Surprise, surprise, I was in the depths of a hangover yesterday. There is only one thing that will save me when I suffer this cruel, self-inflicted state, and that is Dominos pizza and a nice, easy film. This week’s soothing remedy: Wild Mountain Thyme, the much-maligned adaptation of John Patrick Stanley’s play, Outside Mullingar.
I had read most of the Twitter meltdown about the film when it was released earlier this year. The trailer made me laugh like everyone else and I never intended to watch it. However, the drink does strange things to a man and I thought it would at least give me a laugh.
I will start off with the positives; there are parts of the movie so cringe-worthy that they will make you laugh in bewilderment; there are one or two genuinely enjoyable characters to keep you interested; and if you are very hungover, the ending is totes emosh and may make you well up (depends on the person).
I am normally very hesitant to comment on a bad movie. I know that there is little chance that Mr. Stanley is going to read my little review but I wouldn’t like him to find it full of negativity. In saying this, there are some glaring travesties in this movie that must be mentioned.
I have seen arguments for and against the terrible accents portrayed in this movie. Sure, like any country, there are various regional accents and little nuances that separate similar accents. Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan both opted for the Irish accent as seen/heard in films of old. Flat and as leprechaun-y as possible.
Blunt’s accent changes every now and then, ranging from local culchie to Northside Dub. Dornan, who already has an Irish accent but changed to a more generic Midlands accent for the role, manages to keep his accent from the same region throughout.
It seems mad to me that Dornan, being a prominent star in film like Blunt, did not tell her that she sounded ridiculous. Her attempt at sounding like Janet Munro in Darby O’Gill and the Little People renders her performance a bit ridiculous.
Christopher Walken, on the other hand, has such an unmistakeable voice in cinema that you can forgive his slip into American.
There is nothing particularly wrong with the plot of Wild Mountain Thyme. What is wrong is certain plotholes and plot points that don’t sit right.
The main storyline concerns Rosemary (Blunt) and Anthony’s (Dornan) life-long will they, won’t they romance. The secondary storyline sees Anthony’s father Tony (Walken) withhold the family farm from his son in the event of his death. He decides to sell it to an American nephew, played by John Hamm.
It is a harsh reaction to the fact that his son has never married and is a bit ‘weird’. It is so drastic and ill-judged that he reneges on his selling promise to the Yank nephew a couple of scenes later.
It is great that a character could see the error of their ways so soon into a movie and use good personal judgement but it doesn’t make for a long or interesting film.
Tony makes amends with his son on his deathbed (or so it seems) in what is actually a really touching scene. We don’t see Walken for the rest of the movie but we are never directly told that he died. Every other supporting character gets a funeral or post-funeral scene, but the main man, the narrator doesn’t get a death acknowledgement.
There are many strange strands of plot that don’t make that much sense that all add up to make the story bewildering. As if all that isn’t enough, there is a bit of a plot twist at the end that will genuinely take you by surprise and reframe the whole movie for you.
This movie is not worth your time. It is what I would guess is a brilliant play that didn’t translate perfectly to the big screen.
While my title might be a tad hyperbolic, it doesn’t do Ireland’s international profile any favours. Rosemary, Anthony and the gang all live in an Ireland from the 1940s, while John Hamm comes in looking like a suave time-traveller offering raincoats and marriage.
In saying all this, Leap Year is one of my all time favourite movies, unironically, and similarly makes Ireland look like a Patrick Kavanagh poem come to life. What I’m saying is, don’t listen to me if you don’t want to, but do save yourself the hour and a half of cringe.