Cast: David Tennant, Rosamund Pike, Billy Connolly, Celia Imrie
Director: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
Running time: 95 mins
Rating: PG (coarse language)
Verdict: A delightful, pleasant British comedy.
Following her roles in Gone Girl and Hector's Search for Happiness, Rosamund Pike again finds herself in a troubled relationship, this time as Abi, a mum of three in the process of divorcing husband Doug (Tennant). When it's Doug's father's 75th birthday they don't want to upset the old boy (Billy Connolly), who is terminally ill from cancer, so they put on a united front and head to the Scottish Highlands pretending to be a happy family.
It makes for a complicated situation for the kids as they're already struggling with their parents' situation and are cajoled into maintaining the lie with their extended family. But luckily for us, and unlike their bickering and scripted parents, the kids are largely left to improvise their parts and the result is mostly charming, sometimes hilarious.
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They outshine the better-known actors playing their parents, as does actor Celia Imrie, who plays Doug's mentally fragile sister-in-law. As the most unpredictable character she quietly steals every scene she's in with impeccable comedic timing.
To keep us on our toes there's a little jolt when tragedy strikes and the kids make a rather shocking decision midway through. But it's just a brief flirtation with dark comedy, and Hamilton and Jenkin swiftly swing things back to the pleasant and tasteful, complete with uplifting climax. And that's the rub, they've made a film that's perfect for a relaxed Sunday afternoon, but without the depth and texture to make a strong impression.
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