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Simon Read [Film Festival 06.29.09] movie review comedy

Year: 2009
Directors: Tom Hall
Writers: Arthur Mathews
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: projectcyclops
Rating: 3 out of 10

I love Ardal O'Hanlon, his performance as Dougal in the sitcom 'Father Ted', is one of the best things about 90's, UK comedy. I love Ewan Bremner, his performance in Trainspotting as the junkie, Spud, is one of the best things about 90's, UK cinema. Why then would both actors agree to star in something that feels like the aborted pilot of the worlds most depressing buddy-comedy?

Myles (O'Hanlon) and Austin (Bremner) are best friends, who agree to work on Ireland's first, and only, famine themed adventure park. It's being run by a crooked businessman, who in turn is being funded by an eccentric, video-art obsessed, middle-aged vamp, who takes every opportunity to flirt with both him, and the two lads. They share a tin hut, in which a lot of the film is set, as they sit on their bunks and discuss their various problems in depth. O'Hanlon as Myles actually has a few good lines and his character, a depressed, pseudo intellectual, is quite engaging and sympathetic. He's level headed, but has very bad luck in life, chain smoking and pontificating away. Spud from Trainspotting, sorry, I mean Ewan Bremner, is playing Austin as a complete idiot, stumbling through his chores, and kind of making life more difficult for poor Myles.

Their boss charges them with some inexplicable debt collection, whereby they meet the repugnant Mr. Doo-La-Lee (HAHAHAHAHA!!!), who tries to do a runner, but winds-up becoming their friend, silly adventures follow. The film relies on the same brand of awkward humor that made 'The Office' a huge hit, as well as a little slap-stick and a small dose of dry, self-depreciating navel gazing, which was the only thing that kept me watching. I counted 14 people who walked out, it was a press screening and yes, I counted, that's how bored I was. The film simply doesn't work. It's stilted, boring and frustrating. Written by the talented Arthur Mathews (Brass Eye, The Day Today, Big Train, The Fast Show, Black Books - This guy's a Brit-Com veteran!), Wide Open Spaces is, at best, not very funny and quite disappointing given the talent involved, and at worst, unwatchable.

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ANON (13 years ago) Reply

I actually helped make the film, and i thought this would be the result even back there last year, the problem is bullshit scripts getting picked up to shoot, all you had to do was to read less then a quarter of the script to know it was tripe, its films like this that gives Irish talent a bad name.

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