Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie (2014)

A man dressed as an old woman, with a curly wig, and oval glasses, and large mole on his chin. His hands are crossed under his chin and he is smiling.D'readful S'hite

Director: Ben Kellett
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Starring: Brendan O'Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Eilish O'Carroll


Early on, Agnes Brown leaves her house to find she's on a set, with a backdrop of a street facing her. She then proceeds to remove the backdrop, revealing an actual street that is identical to the backdrop. Why is this included? Because Brendan O'Carroll believes it's a clever way to break the fourth wall,  by having the titular character knowingly declaring that she's starring in a movie. Unfortunately, the films smarts never rise above the poorly spelt title.

Mrs Brown (O'Carroll) is a mother of six and runs her own market stall. When a ruthless developer threatens her livelihood for some generic reason, it's up to her to save her stall.

Ben Kellett, regular director of the show, makes his feature film debut with this, and it's clear the transition from TV to film has not been a smooth one. Pauses are regularly left after "jokes", as if there's an expected wait for canned laughter. But this is only one sign of a needed brutal edit, as moments run on for longer than needed in order to include a poor attempt at a joke, while complete scenes deserve to be exorcised from this demon. What's most bizarre is how scenes are intercut with moments of actors breaking their roles to burst out laughing. Moments like this are traditionally reserved for outtakes, but are jarringly left in to further undercut the scenes than the poor writing already does.

Mrs Brown showed off her levitating skills

The supporting cast is an interchangeable assortment, none of whom are allowed significant development or much in the way of acting ability. The few who aren't Mrs Browns' close friends or family are little more than one line jokes, such as the Indian man that gets mistaken for Jamaican, the solicitor that's poor at his job and the barrister plagued with Tourettes syndrome.

But what has to be, without a doubt, the lowest of low points is when Brendan O'Carroll appears as one of the most stereotypical imitations of a Chinese man seen in recent years. Teaching classes on how to be Ninjas, complete with mispronounciating words and yellowface, it a complete step-back that humanity has been trying to learn from after Mickey Rooney's awful work in Breakfast at Tiffanys.

The Russian antagonists are written in such a bog-standard attempt, that any other nationality could have been used and there would have been next to nothing changed. Heck, if they tried to make them Klingon, then at least there would have been some menace in these characters.

I refuse to even spend time criticizing the attempts at humor, especially when these attempts include poor jokes at the expense of the blind and the deaf.

Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie is the latest successful TV series to make the jump to film, working only in regard as a cautionary tale of how the final product can turn out. Considering this was a UK box office hit, expect a sequel to materialize. God help us all.

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