Eye For Film >> Movies >> Fisherman's Friends (2019) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
This middle-of-the-road feelgood Based On community comedy/drama that is neither funny nor exciting has a title which suggests sweeties of the stronger variety, mint flavour, and old fashioned tradition as a bulwark against modernism, the village pub being the centre of what we love about the way things are and should be forever if someone can persuade those rich-and-want-to-get-richer outsiders that money doesn’t buy a place at the happy table nor a slice of manufactured warmth essential for the creation of a rom com.
Danny (Daniel Mays) is in the music biz, or wants to be. To call him a lost cause would mock his aspirations. He knows people; he has contacts; he likes to think they care. He likes to think a lot of stuff that isn’t true. He goes to Cornwall to meet the Fisherman’s Friends who sing sea shanties when they are not saving hapless sailors. It sounds ridiculously romantic which in many ways it is, especially the ridiculous bit.
The film attacks the concept of together-we-shall-overcome, failing to make these middle aged blokes look remotely real, while Danny attempts to sell them the idea of making a disc or whatever they call it these days. He fancies Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton) and within the time it takes to remember the words of a Friends chorus has moved in with her despite parental suspicion, especially from Dad, who is the leading voice in the lifeboat singing group.
Why something so English, which includes actors of David Hayman’s quality, despite the Scottish accent, appears rudderless is difficult to justify. The Mays/Middleton love interest feels underwhelming at best. The seasoned sea activity looks like the work of others. The shanty singalongs leave their mark if you’re into gnarly folk music. The Cornish tourist board will be entertaining the cast on Poldark Beach any time soon.Reviewed on: 07 Mar 2019