Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: This movie has nothing to do with thyme.
Okay, REAL Plot: A pair of star-crossed lovers in Ireland get caught up in their family’s land dispute.
Review: Three things drew me to this movie. Writer/director John Patrick Shanley is the creator of some truly wonderful and timeless movies that span multiple genres. With films like Moonstruck, Doubt and Congo (just to name a few) the man knows how to make good, actually great movies. Number two was the pairing of Jamie Dornan (who was excellent in the television thriller series, The Fall, and not so excellent in the really bad, yet somehow vastly successful, Fifty Shades Trilogy) and the very talented Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow/A Quiet Place/The Devil Wears Prada). And finally, number three was the location this romantic drama is set in, Ireland, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I figured with this trifecta, Wild Mountain Thyme would be an instant winner, but alas lads and lasses, this movie was minus craic (that’s Irish slang for no fun).
Visually, Wild Mountain Thyme delivers. From high overhead shots of the beautiful Irish countryside, to the warm colours and textures of the houses and clothing, the look of this film will appeal to any hibernophiles (Irish culture lovers) out there. The music is all pan flutes and beautiful Irish folksongs that completely pull you into the culture of the simple farm folk of the story. These are songs that have deep meaning to the people who sing them and I appreciated how well it was used to enhance this tale of two people who are meant to be together, but who are kept apart by perceived traditions and frankly ridiculous reasons.
The acting here is not in any way bad, but is hampered by both the uneven tone of this film and the “hit and miss” Irish accents on display. Jamie Dornan is an Irishman by birth, but he’s from Belfast (on the opposite coast from County Mayo, where this story is set), and as it is in most countries across the globe, differences in accents occur depending on where you grow up. Emily Blunt surprisingly also struggles to maintain a believable Irish tongue. I would’ve thought she could handle it, given her background in musical theatre and her past work. And then there’s Christopher “More Cowbell” Walker. I love this man, but if that was an Irish accent, I’m a leprechaun. Sadly, the difficulties each of these actors had with their accents directly affected my ability to stay fully immersed in their stories, so moments that should’ve had more emotional impact just didn’t resonate with me.
Then there’s the tone of this film. What I thought would’ve been a straight-up love story akin to Pride and Prejudice meets Leap Year, felt more like an attempt at modernising one of Shakespeare’s comedies. Wild Mountain Thyme would jarringly leap from drama to comedy and back and I never really found my footing, right up to the ending.
Speaking of which, the reason these two people were kept apart all these years turns out to be so ridiculous and so, well, strange, I can’t decide if it was meant to be taken seriously or not. In the earlier stages of the story, I thought I knew why Anthony tried so hard to stay away from Rosemary. Hell, even Rosemary came to the same conclusion I did. We were both very, very, wrong. Let’s just say you could live to be a thousand and never guess what the reason is. Sometimes a strong conclusion to a film can help you forgive most of the mistakes that came before, but sadly that’s not the case here.
So if you’re looking for a sweet love story, set in the lush lands of Ireland, might I suggest Leap Year. It’s a much more grounded movie, with great chemistry between its leads, and the ending won’t leave you wondering if someone had accidentally slipped something into your Guinness while you weren’t looking.
Sommer’s Score: 5 out of 10
For RMR Editor Julien’s review of KFC mini-movie A Recipe for Seduction you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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