|Week 9: The Boat That Rocked
||[Apr. 1st, 2009|09:15 am]
The Independent Film Forum
Pirate radio and Richard Curtis - it should have been a winning combination. But was it? The latest film up for discussion in The Independent Film Forum is The Boat That Rocked. Sentimental pap or rocking comedy? Is the ensemble cast any good? Is the film worth it for the soundtrack alone? Add your comments below and we'll print the best of them in next Wednesday's paper.
Here's a scene from the film...
The Independent's Anthony Quinn was rather scathing in his review:
"I'm not sure that audiences will suffer a terror of anticipation wondering if the victors of the story will be the pinched goons of Government bureaucracy or the wacky, freewheeling, free-swearing pirates of the airwaves. But then you remember that many of those rebels ended up on Radio 1, playing the same music and polluting the air with their inane, mid-Atlantic twitter. So what is being mourned here? One suspects it's the anti-authoritarian spirit of rock'n'roll, which is an irony given the determinedly polite, inclusive, middle-of-the-road spirit in which this operates. For a man who loves the raucous, ebullient pop of the 1960s, Curtis's own output has been terribly, terminally square. This latest is a new low: The Film That Sucked."
Here's what Variety had to say about it:
"After a lively opening hour, the pic starts to lose its sparkle as Curtis tries to develop the subplots at the expense of the script’s comic buoyancy; the film could easily lose a half-an-hour, to its benefit. Though the tempo picks up again in the final 40 minutes, the movie’s fragile sketch structure almost breaks under the mini-”Titanic” setpiece of the final reels... Though it positively reeks of the ‘60s, “The Boat That Rocked” lacks the sheer grit and darker underbelly of Michael Winterbottom’s ‘70s equivalent, “24 Hour Party People.” It also isn’t quite the timely, anti-establishment comedy it promises to be at the start, but it’s as close as any comedy by a middle-class entertainer like Curtis is likely to come."
Responding to Anthony Quinn's review, this is what some of our readers had to say:
Sounds awful but then what did you expect. Four Weddings ..., Notting Hill, Love Actually each one worse than the last. Sentimental, lazy, patronising and dull.
Bad casting - Nick Frost is implausible.
Bad scripting - toilet humour and silly stereotypes.
Bad subliminal attempt at being pro-Labour by being disparaging about Tories
Bad and ridiculous charactures - Branagh and Davenport - return you fees forthwith.
Bad storyline - predictable.
Bad character names - insulting to teh viewer's intelligence to a lower degree that even Carry-On would stoop.
Unworthy Mr Curtis, unworthy - be very ashamed.
when your critic went to see this film was his seat actually facing the screen as I for one thought it was a great film and everyone else seemed to enjoy it too. This Quinn fellow deludes himself with his own self importance and needs to take an elevator out of himself back to the real world. The film is meant as light entertainment and is good for a laugh he too is like keneth Branaghs assistant a twatt.
I think you're judging this film by rules that really don't apply. No strong narrative, no surprises, nothing subtle, not thought provoking, nothing much to say. It is just a bit of fun, but what an underestimated quality fun is. A few quid spent to invoke a sense of silly happiness, a small crowd leaving a cinema with big grins on their faces and tunes playing in their heads, in this time when all we are supposed to be feeling is gloom.
And I'm sorry, but every time the name Twatt was uttered, a giggle did run round the auditorium.
Unsophisticated yes, but perhaps a brief reprieve from the serious business of critical endeavor .
I'd forgotten all about Paul Jones being a Bad Bad Boy, but am happy to have been reminded
Over to you. Time to have your say.