Top positive review
Enjoyable Family Comedy with Cracking Cast and Beautiful Scottish Locations
6 September 2018
This is a really enjoyable family drama cum comedy set in the stunning Scottish Highlands and featuring a cracking cast including the incomparable Billy Connolly, the ever enjoyable David Tennant and the utterly delightful Rosamund Pike. Several further well known faces appear in supporting roles, among them two particular favourites of mine, Celia Imrie and Ben Miller.
The story of the dysfunctional family of Doug and Abi (Tennant and Pike) - in the middle of a messy divorce - and their three young children, heading from London to Scotland for a family reunion and playing happy families for the benefit of dying grandfather Gordie (Connolly) and the relations, is told with much humour. The characters are relatable and even Doug's pompous brother Gavin is not entirely unlikable thanks to a highly enjoyable performance by Ben Miller. You can't but love Connolly as the wise and loving grandfather who knows what's going on, but mostly goes along with the plans of the adults while spending quality time with his grandchildren whenever he can. It is beautiful to see a loving grandparent treating young grandchildren with so much honesty and dignity, while still having fun with them and ensuring they will have unique and lasting memories of him and their time with him.
I really enjoyed the film, the laughs came thick and fast thanks to an excellent script and excellent performances from the entire cast, including the various child actors/actresses. Much of the humour comes from everyday situations being allowed to develop into outrageous events. The ending is nicely handled, thankfully without becoming either preachy or overly syrupy. Highly recommended.
The DVD is good. There are English subtitles for those who may need them, also an audio description and the following extra features:
~~~ Interviews (with directors Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, and stars Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly)
~~~Commentary with directors Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin