Dir: Ben Kellet, 2014
Easily one of the most debated shows in British television history, Mrs. Brown’s Boys has divided the public in ways seldom seen.
Abhorred and lambasted by critics, the series has been an overwhelming hit with viewers and frequently wins television awards. It really was inevitable that a film wouldn’t be far behind.
Created by its star, Brendan O’Carroll, in a series of books, the character was first seen played by non other than Hollywood starlet Anjelica Huston in the film Agnes Browne. However, the film failed to make any significant impact and O’Carroll himself opted to drag up and play the role of the Irish matriarch in several DVD movies.
Changing the character from Huston’s soft spoken interpretation to a loud and foul mouthed busy body (and losing the ‘e’ on Browne in the process) O’Carroll had perfected the character and the rest, to coin a cliche, is history.
Agnes Brown is a fruit and veg market stall holder, who is being threatened by Russians on behalf of a corrupt local councillor to close the stall down so he can use the market space for development.
The plot of Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie, is slight to say the least. But, for the film, that’s entirely irrelevant. All O’Carroll is trying to do is make the audience laugh, and he succeeds brilliantly.
Working in the film’s favour, is the refusal to digress from the show. The sets are the ones used in the series and the trademark humour is in full force, including leaving the bloopers in in the middle of a scene.
A different approach, definitely, but one that works.
The longer running time, allows its star to branch out and create a new character; the blind martial arts master, Mr. Wong. Amid the very unsurprising attack and accusations of racism from the critics, is a one joke character that, just about, doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. Amusing, yes. Hilarious, no. Racist? Absolutely not.
Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie epitomises everything that the critics aren’t and, therefore, don’t understand; the working class. Brendan O’Carroll’s Agnes Brown and family, are the typical proletariat without being stereotypical. The humour is very simple, yet effective. It caters towards the Skegness, Blackpool and Great Yarmouth holiday goers.
Unsurprisingly, like all TV to film adaptation, there is a clear struggle to keep things going for a feature length running time. However, O’Carroll is aware of this pitfall that has beset other films, and both he and Kellet keep the overall length down.
A frequently funny and often hilarious movie, that won’t win any new converts, but will amuse and entertain fans of the show.