Emily Blunt. Jamie Dornan. Jon Hamm. Christopher Walken. Scripted and directed by John Patrick Shanley of Moonlight and Doubt fame. Sounds interesting, no? Sum of its parts….does not really add up here. A shame really not only because of the wealth of talent here, but because it is an interesting idea featuring “different” types of characters surrounded by the charm and beauty of rural Ireland.
A sweeping romance seems the perfect match for Ireland, doesn’t it? Ireland is a country filled with romance and beautiful vistas to set as a backdrop for Dornan and Blunt falling in love. Seems like all of the elements are there. But it just flat out doesn’t work. Not because the characters played by Dornan and Blunt are not what you would expect from romantic leads. Quirky does work in romantic comedies. What trips everything up is the muddle of a story.
John Patrick Shanley is a veteran screenwriter. One filled with odd characters and memorable dialogue. Here, it seems like his own reputation has messed with his mind. It is alike he knows what is expected from him and proceeds to try too hard at it. Instead of the words flowing they sorta plodded along with you wondering at times if you completely understood what was just said.
There are some laughs to be had here. Mostly due to the delivery of the actors and the lyric way the Irish speak. People of that country never really say things plainly or simply. It is all about telling stories and having a laugh. It comes naturally to the Irish. The small amount of pleasure I derived from the film came from this.
Neighbours their entire lives in rural Ireland, farmers Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt – Edge of Tomorrow, A Quiet Place) and Anthony Reilly (Jamie Dornan – A Private War, Synchronic) seem destined to be together. And yet, Anthony, a somewhat thick man, does not seem aware of the fact.
Both are still unmarried as their parents begin to get older and being unwell. This worries Anthony’s ailing father Tony (Christopher Walken – The Deer Hunter, Hairspray) believes that he cannot leave the farm to Anthony, who will be the last in the line it seems, rather he is contemplating selling it to his American nephew, Adam (Jon Hamm – Tag, Million Dollar Arm). Much to everyone’s chagrin.
Being a stubborn woman, Rosemary is not going to give up on Anthony. She makes her feelings plain for everyone to see…except Anthony. Will it be too long for both to pursue their dreams?
Exactly the kind of film you want to like. You do want Rosemary and Anthony to be together. All of the actors do a good job and are likable. The story and people in it are all rather original. Yet you end up baffled as to why you leave it feeling disappointed.