The tragedy of this cinematic step up for the unexpected smash hit Irish television comedy is that there is a good (not great) movie trying to push its way through, it’s just that the habits of three seasons prove too hard to break. In terms of story, writer and star Brendan O’Carroll is onto a winner, taking a formulaic staple – the imminent crushing of our hero by big business – and passing it through the particularly twisted lens of Agnes Brown.
From the word “ejaculate” which is heard before a single frame of vision, to a barrister with Tourette’s, Agnes and her friends and family bumble through a series of slapstick situations and Irish stereotypes. That’s the good stuff. For many, it’s about as funny as being tickled by a wet sock, but for damply-darned devotees, it works. It’s the variation that fails.
Such as, including outtakes within the film itself. Actors often bursting into laughter mid-scene, then starting over. Apparently it’s hysterical. However as they break character, we break out of the moment. Cinema, unlike television, is a captivating experience.
Or the ‘new’ humour. From the brazenly borrowed – look, a mankini! – to the dated and offensive. O’Carroll’s yellow-face portrayal of Mr Wang is eerily reminiscent of Mickey Rooney’s Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, more than half a century ago.
Storytelling is always second to the gag, no matter how brilliant or bland. The best line in the film is the very last, another outtake, this one after the credits.
With the film over, it’s free to finally be funny. Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie is a film that gets in its own way too often. It was never going to be brilliant, but it should have been better.
‘Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie’ Movie Times