Keeping Mum Reviews
Watched this over Christmas and New Year with the family. Some funny parts throughout but ultimately a middle-of-the-road British comedy.
For a little-known British comedy, the cast is excellent. Rowan Atkinson is an undeniable comedic genius and plays Reverend Goodfellow with the right amount of uncertainty and bumble we are so used to seeing from him. As his character starts to turn to humour in his sermons (many jokes taken from the aptly named website 'God Jokes'), his enthusiasm for life increases tenfold, leading to an injection of spice into his previously sexless marriage
His sex-starved wife, Gloria, played by the always excellent Kristen Scott Thomas, is the star of the show. She effortlessly blends together wittiness and exasperation, be it at her husband for the lack of intimacy or at her sex-crazed, rebellious daughter (played well by Tamsin Egerton) for the litany of unsuitable boyfriends she brings to their home.
She is responsible for the funniest part of the film as well. As Gloria prepares to finally sleep with her greasy, orange, muscular golf instructor Lance (Patrick Swayze), after weeks of sexual tension, she is mortified when he reveals a large burgundy jock strap. Her reaction is as British as you could get. A very humourous scene.
Grace (Maggie Smith), the mysterious housekeeper with the big secret, disappoints for me. Maybe it just was not different enough to a standard Maggie Smith performance (I know I'm in the minority here). Her mischievousness is fun, but her punishments are very disproportionate to the "crimes" committed by those in Little Wallop and I know it's fiction, but would you not conduct any sort of check on a housekeeper that is going to look after your two under-18 children? Even a pretty good look at a CV? Pretty shoddy due diligence if you ask me.
I also find Swayze's performance to be quite cliched. This is not his fault, he's asked to basically accentuate all the stereotypical traits that people do not like about America (seen with his vanity, overly white teeth, overly loquaciousness, arrogance). To be fair to Swayze, I do find that American movies do the the same with Brits (why is every Brit obscenely posh?) He's not unfunny, but I felt he could have been a little less sterotypical.
There could have been more scenes with the Goodfellow family all together, especially with Rowan Atkinson and Tamsin Egerton, I feel like their relationship dynamic was not explored enough and this could have led to some pretty funny scenes.
Overall, a decent film that's inoffensive enough to please all members of the family, but is firmly planted in the lower echelons of British comedy.
The movie has delightful English humor and has great twists and play on words.
A wonderful, cute movie.
But well, I'm fine with a message that tells people to not have a stick up their ass just because they're religious. Can't say that's an non-existent issue.
In general I have trouble respecting characters that cheat on their partner, and honestly, in most movies these kind of people are the "villain", but the movie handled this subject well enough. You won't fault the wife for her past decisions, but at the same time you have to wonder why couples never talk about this and instead cheat away.
But since it was established that the vicar is rather slow, I guess a direct message would be wasted on him. Besides that, that religious stick is very much up his ass. An obvious invitation to intercourse has always been rejected.
It's difficult to watch a movie with characters you know best from a different production; starring a mr. Bean-vicar and a murderous Hogwarts teacher, I enjoyed this movie. I thought it was well done and quite entertaining.
Though, I still wonder about the plausability of the ending and the family's choice not to call the police on the old kook.