Wild Mountain Thyme (PG) - 102 minutes
Updated: Feb 6
Irish lyricism, bluster and blarney combine in this romantic drama, which has the sole purpose of joining together a lovelorn woman and her timid neighbour.
They are both from solid Irish stock.
They have watched their parents tend to their respective farms in central Ireland, which are surrounded by lush fields.
Rosemary Muldoon grew up initially doubting her purpose until her father told her she was the white swan, like that in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, which is a recurring theme in the picture.
Anthony Reilly (Jamie Dornan) has strange thoughts (just how strange is revealed late in the piece) and refuses to acknowledge his feelings for Rosemary (Emily Blunt).
He even goes so far as to encourage her to leave Ireland in search of greener pastures.
Meanwhile, Anthony’s father, Tony (Christopher Walken), initially resolves to leave the family farm to his brother’s son Adam (Jon Hamm), who lives in New York.
That sees Adam exposed to Rosemary, the consequences of which are played out later in the film.
A highly capable woman, Rosemary is in no doubt she is meant to be with Anthony, but she has a hell of a job trying to convince him. By now both are in the second half of their thirties.
An elongated scene towards the end of the movie, in which Rosemary uses all her feminine wiles to deal with Anthony’s reluctance and fear and win him over once and for all is my personal favourite.
Emily Blunt, who is and has always been a mighty fine actor, positively shines.
It may not be politically correct to say so, but I will say it anyway – she also looks absolutely beautiful.
Writer and director John Patrick Shanley (who won an Oscar in 1988 for writing the Cher vehicle Moonstruck) has built a movie around a very thin storyline and notwithstanding the adulation I just spoke of, for most of the film it shows.
I should add that Shanley has based Wild Mountain Thyme on his own book, Outside Mullingar.
There’s just not a lot to get terribly excited about here. There’s nothing “wild” about this, just eccentric.
About the only thing I dare say most people will likely agree on is that Anthony needs a swift kick up the pants, the proverbial wake up call to show some initiative.
At times it is actually hard work to watch him do nothing but daydream.
I quite liked Walken’s turn as the father of three whose heart softens.
The opening aerial shots are as good as I have seen in any movie. Tourism Ireland would be mighty proud.
Perhaps Wild Mountain Thyme will have greatest appeal to women, but I would have liked to see much more substance.
Rated PG, it scores a 5 out of 10.