Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie (2014)
Cast: Brendan O’Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Eilish O’Carroll, Danny O’Carroll, Fiona O’Carroll, Paddy Houlihan, Gary Hollywood, Jimmy Gibney, Dermot O’Neill, Pat Shields, Amanda Woods, Dermot Crowley, Robert Bathurst & Simon Delaney
Writer: Brendan O’Carroll
Director: Ben Kellett
Viewed: Saturday 09 August 2014 @ Event Cinemas Glendale, Newcastle.
Since premiering in 2011, the (newer) Mrs. Brown’s Boys TV show has rocketed in popularity. Three seasons, Christmas specials and a sell-out international live show tour later and we find ourselves with the inevitable film. Being a big fan and having seen all the aforementioned editions in the Mrs. Brown saga, I was looking forward to this big screen adventure. How foolish I was.
Agnes Brown’s (Brendan O’Carroll, Agnes Browne – a completely unrelated movie from 1999 directed by and starring Angelica Huston based on a novel written by O’Carroll) family has been running a market fruit stall on Dublin’s Moore Street for two centuries, but that is threatened when a local politician/businessman (Dermot Crowley, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) teams up with the Russian mob to close down all the stalls and develop a shopping center on the site. Mrs. Brown doesn’t intend to go down without a fight, but the realisation that she may owe millions in unpaid taxes makes the fight that much harder. With the help of her family and friends Mrs Brown attempts to prove her innocence and save the markets.
I don’t have many positives to say about this. It’s a pretty miserable experience. It starts off well enough. There’s an amusing voiceover from Mrs Brown before the film commences welcoming the audience which is followed by a fun scene involving an alarm clock and Grandad Brown (Dermot O’Neill) that feels very much like the TV show we know and love. After this though there is a scene where Mrs. Brown leaves her house to head to her market stall, walking out the front door on to an obvious set (so far, so usual), but then she pulls down the backdrop to reveal a real location shot proclaiming “This shouldn’t be here, it’s D’Movie!” It’s from then on that everything that makes the TV show so great is completely missing.
Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie tries too hard to be too big and falls flat on its face. It tries. It tries hard to be funny but fails miserably. There are a couple of chuckles stretched over its 90 minute run time but no real laughs. The closest it gets is during outtakes over the end credits. It’s a sad, sad thing when your credits are more enjoyable than your movie. It, inexplicably, tries really hard to be racist. There’s a character named Rab Patel (Raj Ghatak, Birthday Girl) who is repeatedly referred to as being Jamaican and an Asian ninja instructor named Mr Cheng played by….Brendan O’Carroll squinting his eyes and swapping his L’s and R’s. It’s the most racist thing I’ve seen in a movie in a looooooooong time. It’s embarrassing. Towards the end of the proceedings O’Carroll’s script tries hard to add some of the sentiment that is so often present in the TV show, but everything that has come before has been so tedious, or mean, or such a new development (when has a market stall ever been mentioned before?) that we can’t suddenly just be asked to feel for these characters.
The Mrs. Brown’s Boys formula is obviously not suited for the movie treatment. On TV it is a small show with small sets, a small cast and big heart. In cinemas it is a big show with big sets, a HUGE cast and no heart at all. O’Carroll has completely missed the mark on what millions of people around the world love about his character. I don’t understand how he could have gotten it so horribly wrong. For all these reasons I give Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie 1 Rant and Rave point.
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