UK Release Date: 27th June 2014
Runtime: 94 minutes
Director: Ben Kellett
Writer: Brendan O’Carroll
Starring: Brendan O’Carroll, Eilish O’Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Robert Bathurst, Nick Nevern
Synopsis: When evil businessmen try to get her market stall shut down, the eponymous matriarch must fight to retain her livelihood.
One of the more baffling cultural phenomena of the last few years is the BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys. The intentionally rickety production is a perfectly fine broad comedy, but the success it has received and the critical bile slung in its direction has marked it out as something that everyone has to either love or hate.
Naturally, a film adaptation was always going to happen. And, equally naturally, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie is one of d’worst films of d’year.
Agnes Brown (Brendan O’Carroll) is part of the furniture in Dublin, with her popular fruit and veg stall. A ruthless developer in league with a ruthless Russian (Nick Nevern) targets her stall for closure on the basis of her grandmother’s unpaid tax bill. Mrs Brown must now recruit her friend Winnie (Eilish O’Carroll), a Tourettes-suffering barrister (Robert Bathurst) and a ninja instructor (O’Carroll again) to rescue her livelihood.
| "They won’t take me without a fight."
The problem with Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie goes way beyond the fact that it isn’t funny in the slightest. The entire thing feels completely incompatible with the medium of cinema. There is no real plot to speak of and it all feels like nothing more than an extended television episode with the jokes surgically removed.
Whilst its slightly slapdash style and laissez-faire approach is slightly charming on television, it clashes horribly with the gloss of a film production. The scenes in which outtakes are left in are especially jarring and feel more like a failure in the editing room than a deliberate choice.
O’Carroll’s approach to Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie seems to be a love letter to the slightly offensive comedy of his past. His portrayal of a Chinese character called Mr Wang, complete with a hideously stereotypical accent, is toe-curlingly awful and a far cry from the relatively inoffensive fluff that dominates the TV show. Bernard Manning would probably have died laughing.
| "Sometimes you’re about as useful as a knitted condom."
The success of The Inbetweeners Movie has now encouraged a handful of awful and lazy sitcom adaptations. Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie isn’t quite as bad as Keith Lemon’s appalling effort, but it still sits as one of the more stinky comedies of 2014.
Naturally, work is already beginning in earnest on d’sequel.
Pop or Poop?
Aside from its grossly inventive caricatures and lack of a plot, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie suffers badly from a format that has no place on the glamorous big screen of a cinema. Where The Inbetweeners flourished with an expanded canvas, Brendan O’Carroll flounders and does a racist accent.
That said, anyone who finds the TV show hilarious will probably laugh out of loyalty. No one else will.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.