Wednesday, 1 October 2014

What We Did on Our Holiday (2014)

What We Did on Our Holiday (2014) PosterWe're all going on a Scottish Holiday

Directors: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Starring: David Tennant, Rosamund Pike, Billy Connolly, Ben Miller

The creators of hit BBC show Outnumbered make their feature film debut, following Doug (Tennant) and Abi (Pike), a separated couple who take their three children to Scotland. They're there to visit their grandfather Gordie (Connolly) for his Birthday, but they try to keep the parents separation a secret.

Like the previously mentioned show, the humor rests upon the children saying funny lines. This doesn't work, because the annoying kids deliver stilted and forced lines which never convince. The most the adults get in regards to humor is one ill-judged rape joke.

The main problem with this film is how it takes these weak attempts at humor, and plays them out in scenarios which are meant to be dramatic. This results in a poor mixture of contrasting tones, but the standout moment comes during the second act. Without spoiling, what occurs is shocking, and feels as if it's been taken from a Danish film, rather than from a film which one review describes as "a refreshing British comedy". It also doesn't help how it leads to a weakly written fallout, which gets resolved in a half-arsed, syrupy manner.

The attempt to catch dinner was going wrong

The actors do well in their roles, with Billy Connolly managing to be effortlessly charming. David Tennant and Rosamund Pike do well at showing a crumbling marriage, even if their storyline hits the predictable notes a bit too often. Ben Miller's work is overshadowed by his bad attempt at a Scottish accent that regularly disappears, while Lewis Davie may as well have not appeared at all, due to how his character fails to impact the plot. In fact, multiple characters seem to have a story for them randomly inserted throughout, but this fault can also lie with the awkward editing as well with the poor script.

The biggest problem that lies with What We Did on Our Holiday is how it doesn't know how to balance the humor with the dramatic scenarios, and one big moment feels especially out of place. Still, the cast manage to do their best with what they've got., barring the annoying kids.

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