This drama lacks the luck of the Irish.
“Wild Mountain Thyme,” the latest feature from writer/director John Patrick Shanley, is a beautifully photographed film that captures the beauty and clean environment of Ireland. The mountains, the rivers, the animals, the buildings, the rain, and the fields all remind me of my experiences in the country in 2015. It makes me want to go back. in fact, I already wanted to go back before I saw this movie.
Unfortunately, the movie is tampered by a pointless story and some fake accents. Some like Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt do their best, while Christopher Walken acts like he’s performing on an SNL skit. The director admits that he was trying to make this movie appease to American audience, and wanted to make sure they would understand the Irish dialogue. That’s understandable, but the movie still seems flimsy and underdeveloped.
As the film begins, a young man named Anthony (Dornan) is dishearten by the fact that his father Tony (Walken) will leave his farm to his American nephew Adam (Jon Hamm), while his old childhood friend Rosemary (Blunt) just lost her father. She, too, is infuriated by his old man’s decision, which he knows that Anthony will never marry. However, after Rosemary loses her mother, and Tony is terminally ill, he reconsiders his choices, and gives his son the farm.
The chemistry between Anthony and Rosemary is all tipsy. At times, they appear to like each other, and other times, they bicker about their relationship. Are they in love or aren’t they? The performances from Dornan and Blunt are both good, but they lack character development, and jump back and forth within the genre. And Hamm uses his American charms, but he doesn’t have a fresh story to provide.
There are a few scenes when Rosemary is inspired by “Swan Lake,” and we can feel the grace and sadness of her character, as the music plays. She even travels to America to see the show with Adam, and considers herself a White Swan. And Anthony admits he feels like a honey bee, especially when he deals with a bee that finds its way on his breakfast table. As a matter of fact, he thinks he’s a bee, which sets off some more bickering between the two characters.
Given some of its positive aspects, I’ve seen worse romantic dramas than “Wild Mountain Thyme,” but I’ve still seen better. It’s difficult to comprehend the realities going on within the characters, and their situations are all cut-and-paste. Let’s have Anthony practice a marriage proposal with a donkey, let’s have Rosemary drive into a tree in a comical way, and let’s have them complain about how much it rains. It all seems random, and labored, as if it were trying to enter “Bridget Jones’ Diary” territory, even if that film wasn’t Irish. But I think you get the gist.
And one more complaint about the Christopher Walken character. He’s a great actor-a profound actor- he just can’t use an Irish accent right. So, this should be a one time deal, and never again.
In Select Theaters and On Demand