MRS BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE | MOVIE REVIEW

When the invite came through for this I had never even heard of Mrs Brown, it looks appalling and personally I would rather watch Adam Sandler films on loop. I sent out the invite and both Kernel’s Jack and John were keen for it, they had seen the infamous TV show starring Brendan O’Carroll and were both eager to see it. John won this one and headed along to review this excuse for something funny. MRS BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE is out now at most commercial cinemas thanks to Universal Pictures, is rated M and runs for 95 painful minutes, if you are a die hard fan you can visit the official Australian website for the film HERE. Enjoy John’s review…………all the best…………..JK.

 

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MRS BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JOHN MCPARLAND

I learnt a new word today: cronyism.  I had planned to begin this review with a description of the term nepotism, how it refers to a form of favouritism and advancement based on familial connection, and how it is basically shunned the world over.  Well, shunned by those not related to the person in charge.  For those that share the same surname as the boss, nepotism is great.  However, upon investigation of this phrase I learnt that cronyism is the word used to describe the same situation, only referring to friendship or association, as opposed to blood.  It would come as no surprise that this practice is equally frowned upon by those who gain no advantage from it.  Cronyism comes from the word “crony” (a close friend or companion) and with that little piece of information, so many old time gangster movies suddenly make a lot more sense.

 

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MRS BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MRS BROWN (BRENDAN O’CARROLL) JUGGLING

 

MRS. BROWN’S BOYS television series director Ben Kellett directs the nepotism and cronyism charged Irish comedy MRS. BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE.  It stars Brendan O’Carroll dressed in drag as the title character Agnes Brown, alongside a wide ranging cast of his real life closest friends and relatives, whose interconnection with each other make for mind numbing complexity.  For example, his wife is her daughter, whose daughter is her sister in law, whose husband is her brother in law, whose aunty in law is his mother’s best friend, whose sister in law is her daughter, whose daughter in law is her mother’s best friend’s son’s wife, whose husband is her husband’s brother’s best friend, whose mother is his best friend’s mother, whose girlfriend is friends with his sister, sister in law, and mother’s best friend’s daughter (first term mentioned is the real life connection, second term mentioned is that actor’s character’s connection to the real life connection of the previously mentioned first term particle, in the movie).  See, clear as mud.  By the way, that is not all the characters involved in the movie, not by a long shot.  And yes, I did spend half an hour trying to devise the most accurate, real life/character family tree possible.  While not the simplest description, this was the most entertaining version I could think of.

 

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MRS BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MRS BROWN (BRENDAN O’CARROLL) AND OTHER OLD LADIES

 

The film follows a very THE CASTLEesq style storyline, whereby Russian commercial developers wish to buyout Mrs. Brown’s fruit and vegetable market stall so they can build a shopping centre.  Mrs. Brown and her fellow marketeers are resistant to this proposal and so action is taken by the developers to force them out one by one.  When Mrs. Brown’s time comes, the Russians fabricate an unpaid tax bill from Mrs. Brown’s grandmother, for roughly one hundred pounds from several decades ago.  Questions such as how this bill was not paid out of her estate or simply forgiven when the grandmother died, or why it is suddenly Mrs. Brown’s responsibility, are conveniently glossed over.  In addition, it would seem that thanks to the power of compounding interest (and what must have been an idiotically high inflation rate) the bill today is closer to four million euro.  Needless to say, Mrs. Brown cannot afford such a princely sum, and so is told by the developers that they can make this tax problem go away if only she were to sell her stall to them.  However, rumour exists of a receipt, buried in the tax office archives, that proves Mrs. Brown’s grandmother paid her bill in full all those years ago.  What follows next is an hour and a half of slapstick vulgarity, as everyone tries to find the elusive receipt – the developers to destroy it and force Mrs. Brown’s hand, and Mrs. Brown to recover it and present it to the courts to save her stall.

 

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MRS BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MRS BROWN (BRENDAN O’CARROLL) AND OTHER OLD LADIES

 

Sadly for this film though, THE CASTLE was a much better comical take on the idea of one man and his family and friends taking on big business through the courts.  MRS. BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE tries far too hard to be funny and sacrifices the simple, tongue-in-cheek humour of the television series for bawdier, crasser jokes that quickly begin to bore.  The film is unapologetically filled with profanity, even going so far as to present Mrs. Brown’s solicitor as having Tourettes.  Mrs. Brown herself peppers every scene with a multitude of four letter wonders, and when told of her solicitor’s condition exclaims, “what the feckin’ feck is Tourettes?” in her cute Irish pronunciation.  A nice little jab at her character to be sure, but her foul mouth starts to drag after a while.  While the bad language is nothing new to consumers of the television series, it had a purpose there, at least some of the time.  It was used to express anger, or disgust, or to underline a certain point the character is trying to make.  In the film however, swearing is used just for the hell of it.  I am no prude myself, but words are my life, these reviews being a prime example of that.  I adore language, even bad language, and revel in its use and composition to convey a meaningful message.  However, when you just start throwing words around with no real goal or reason, I rapidly lose patience.  The swearing is not the issue here; Mrs. Brown could have been saying “cat” instead of feck for all I cared.  It is simply the constant and inappropriate use of language that had me dying a little inside every time she swore without purpose.

 

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MRS BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MRS BROWN (BRENDAN O’CARROLL) AND CAST

 

The film is also pointlessly racist and disabled person bashing, in an attempt once more to wrangle a few more laughs.  The Russian developers are stereotypically mobster in nature, with scripts and scenes that further paint them as vicious, cruel and ignorant of modern ideals and processes.  A fellow stall owner must constantly reiterate to those he has worked alongside for years that he is Indian, when everyone else keeps referring to him as Jamaican.  O’Carroll even plays a second character in the film called Mr. Wang, an Asian martial arts instructor training blind students on how to be ninjas.  Mr. Wang is typically cartoonish in caricature and speech, with a thick accent, constantly rolling his “R’s” and swapping his “L’s,” making him sound more like Scooby-Doo than a believable character.  Also, while watching blind students cut their feet on glass, cluelessly fall from great heights, or run screaming out into oncoming traffic may have elicited a few chuckles from audience members here and there, I could not help but notice how mutely received these scenes were.

The film retains many of its series elements such as musical song and dance, interior sets of the home and local pub, and Mrs. Brown’s constant breaking of the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience.  She even makes fun of cinema in general when, after emerging from a river completely dry when she was drenched in the previous shot, she exclaims, “I’m dry!  God I love the movies.”  Unfortunately, these intellectual moments of comedy are few and far between.

Die-hard fans of the series will no doubt enjoy this film, but even they will be slightly disappointed I fear.  In terms of plot, MRS. BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE is not so much a feature length film as it is an extended television episode.  Try to enjoy it for what it is, but do not go into the cinema with high hopes thinking that this film is to its series what THE SIMPSONS MOVIE was to THE SIMPSONS.  The content, premise and gags for this film are a far cry from what one would expect to see on the big screen.  While it may not have endeared you to the movie, if nothing else, I hope that reading this review has taught you a new word that you can use in your daily vocabulary: cronyism.

 

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