One review said it couldn’t be a broader caricature of Irish culture if it were directed by a pint of Guinness.
US REVIEWS OF the oddly-pitched rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme have begun to pour in, and they’re not pretty (but are suitably entertaining).
While the film is due to be released in the US tomorrow there’s no planned release date for here yet, so us Oirish citizens are relying on critics abroad to give us their best no-holds-barred assessments.
So far, they’ve delivered. This, from IndieWire, seems particularly harsh (but, we expect, fair):
This sometimes enchanting (but always demented) soda farl of banter and blarney couldn’t be a broader caricature of Irish culture if it were written by the Keebler elves and directed by a pint of Guinness.
The film, written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, and featuring Christopher Walken, tells a love story apparently set in rural Ireland.
Jamie Dornan, who is from Holywood in Northern Ireland, and Emily Blunt, who is from London, play star-crossed lovers Anthony and Rosemary, whose families are caught up in a feud over a hotly contested patch of land that separates their two farms.
Anthony spends most of his time working in the fields, worn down by constant belittling from his father; while Rosemary appears to hold a grudge for having been shamed by Anthony in their childhood.
Here come the reviews
The accents in the trailer alone have been met with some confusion, with the Irish embassy in Washington DC said on Twitter: “To be fair, Irish accents are hard”.
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A Guardian review said:
“…what is going on with the accents? The mere teaser, with narration by American actor Christopher Walken, triggered an Irish accent emergency upon its release last month. The fears were justified: the accents are indeed bad.
It is worth mentioning that Walken’s accent is especially bad as the crotchety Tony Reilly, waxing about the long history of his family’s farm abutting that of Chris Muldoon, whose rain-soaked wake precedes the first scene.
But The New York Times said “motley accents are the least of this movie’s problems”.
It is… a romantic comedy/drama whose tone ping-pongs from grave to lyrical to absurdist willy-nilly, and hits all those registers at fortissimo volume.
Vulture, meanwhile, calls it ”utterly batshit”.
But Wild Mountain Thyme is not just charmless. It is genuinely confounding, a movie constantly working against itself to make its characters and their dilemma comprehensible.
…The setting just serves as an excuse for characters to deliver utter nonsense lines, like this one from Rosemary: “It’s good that you’re tall. Men are beasts. They need that height to balance the truth and the goodness of women.”