Tuesday, 22 September 2015

What We Did on Our Holiday

2014 - Dir Guy Jenkin & Andy Hamilton - 1hr 35min
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 26th September, 2015

It’s difficult not to enjoy this big-hearted and sweet-natured British family movie from Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin – effectively a feature-format development of their smash-hit BBC TV comedy, “Outnumbered”, which pioneered semi-improvised dialogue from the children. It creates a terrifically ambitious (and unexpected) narrative with a ton of sharp gags. It might have been expected that Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner would reprise their roles as the mum and dad, but because TV viewers have seen their fictional children grow up on the small screen, that wouldn’t have rung true. The gentle direction does a good job of making the young characters look terrifically spontaneous, and the adult cast is rife with expertise: Ms Pike is both frazzled and dry, while Mr Tennant proves that his wide-eyed intensity works as well as a comic tic as it does when he’s playing an existentially tortured bloke in more serious fare…. and Billy Connolly is… well, Billy Connolly actually - a man doing a very good impression of a national treasure (having moved back to live in Scotland from California).
The original idea for tonight’s feature film sprang from “Outnumbered” which ran on BBC1 for 5 series between 2007 and 2014. This was the brainchild of Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin who had previously collaborated on “Drop the Dead Donkey”. The show was mostly devised and improvised in rehearsal and the kids were encouraged to be as spontaneous as possible.

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