Getting down with Mrs Brown…

I’m nothing if not fair, as this review in yesterday’s Sunday Independent of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie should prove. While Messrs O’Carroll and Duffy took potshots on the Marian Finucane Show yesterday at the film critics of Dublin for doing their job and having objective critical opinions about a film (gasp!), the cash has rolled in for the release’s opening weekend, begging the question – why bother guys? You’ve won. Be the bigger person. 

 

WITH one or two exceptions, TV show migrations to the big screen tend to be vanity projects rather than dignified creative augmentations. Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie is no different really, its remit to deliver a cinema-sized slice of the sitcom for its bafflingly vast legions of fans.

You certainly cannot begrudge creator/writer/star Brendan O’Carroll the success the show has had in the UK after his many years of slog but it remains unlikely that this typically crass-humoured, panto-ish outing will make many new converts.

O’Carroll and director Ben Kellett step out from the studio into Dublin’s inner city itself, dressing the capital in primary colours and a sunny sheen while peopling her with charmingly gruff fishwives and merry Moore Street stallholders. There’s a bit of a song-and-dance number before plot drama is installed by way of greedy South Side developers (“boo”) and Russian gangsters (“hiss”) who are out to disrupt the proud street trader tradition.

As everyone runs around flapping their arms to try and thwart them, the fourth wall is lowered here and there in bemusing style. O’Carroll winks knowingly at the camera and outtakes are left in the screenplay, leaving glimpses of the fun had on set and providing respite from the hair-dryer strength Mullarkey. Joe Duffy, Frank Kelly, ex-Ireland hooker Shane Byrne and (of course) June Rogers join the usual cast members made up of Carroll’s real-life family and friends.

It’s tempting to dismiss Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie as a €4million odd inflation of O’Carroll’s award-winning ego but the truth is that it is very much fit for purpose, romping with potty-mouthed abandon and doing what it says on the tin. That said, if you are not yet inured to his Mrs Bleedin’ Doubtfire shtick, then steer clear.

First published in the Sunday Independent

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Published by

Hilary A White

Dublin-based arts journalist and reviewer, specialising in film, books, music and human-interest stories. Sunday Independent / Irish Independent / State.ie / RTE Radio 1 / Today FM

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