21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Surprisingly good film version of a sit-com that went on too long,
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This review is from: Till Death Us Do Part [DVD] (DVD)
Alf Garnet has to be one of the strongest British sit-com characters of all time. The fact that he was no more than a strong version of many real life Alf Garnets always gave him a bit more weight over some of the more cartoonish characters in sit-com land. So, not only was Alf responsible for making the TV show TDUDP one of the longest running sit-coms in history, but he sort of was rsponsible for it being so one dimensional and a bit claustraphobic feeling because of Alf's tiny world.
But boy, is Alf a character that lingers in the memory! I put this film on and I was pretty staggered at how fresh his character still was, or timeless looking. It has to be, I thought, because characters like that still do exist, and probably always will. Maybe there aren't as many as blatant as Alf around now, but it brings back memories of men who have an opinion and a prejudice about everything and like to express it, especially when they are drunk. Alf of course is a big softie under his gruff and self important exterior and this film again highlights the fact that we do not condone his worst prejudices but are laughing at his pomposity every time his bubble is pricked, which is often.
To create such a strong character you need great writing and great acting. Both Speight and Mitchell understood this character perfectly, and knew every little flaw he had and every circumstance that would create his looking like a plonker and give us our laughs. This character, like all the best sit-com 'monsters' offers others plenty of opportunities for putting him down and giving us our larfs. This film is full of them, and I think it is a great way to either relive this classic British sit-com or to introduce it to you, if you never got to see it.
As stated above, this is a cleverly written filmic overview of the life of Alf and his poor family, taking in many of the biggest events in British life from the 30s to the late 60s, and runs like a sort of British patriot-cum-bigot's journal of the times. It has its liitle patches of dullness or slight weaknesses, but because of its inventiveness in narrative and of course its effervescent die hard character Alf, this movie is as far as I'm concerned, the best of all British sit-com spin off movies, and the bloke above is right, it's funnier and better than the long running sit-com was. This is a quiet little gem of a film. Good strong directing and some classic Alf moments make this film well worth a look indeed. Actually, I already feel guilty at not giving it the full 5 stars as it is a very strong film, but I sort of published too early before I had a chance to edit. It is 4.5 stars at least.