In 1987, John Patrick Shanley's screenplay for 'Moonstuck' delighted us all and it even won an Oscar. It was quirky and charming, so naturally 34 years later one would think the same writer (also in the director's chair this time around) could strike gold again... and even as I'm typing this I realise how insane that sounds. Times have changed. People have changed. And what passed as quirky and charming three decades ago doesn't quite cut it today. It's weird, some might say boring, and dare I say it... a little stupid, and it goes by the name of 'Wild Mountain Thyme'.
In rural Ireland, two lifelong neighbouring farmers, Rosemary (Emily Blunt, 'The Devil Wears Prada') and Anthony (Jamie Dornan, 'Fifty Shades' franchise) just can't seem to get together, despite Rosemary's yearning and what appears to be a want in Anthony too, but there's just that something that stands in the way. When Anthony's father (Christopher Walken, 'Wedding Crashers') threatens to sell the farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm, 'Baby Driver'), things get all out of whack -and time is running out for Anthony to finally make his move.
So as you can tell, there's not a lot going on here - which means it's up to the characters to carry the film... only they're vague, bordering on dull, and invoke little to no empathy as a result. Rosemary has a sharp wit and intelligence that graces us with its presence from time to time, but not nearly often enough to hold your attention or for you to care about what the hell is going on here.
When you start questioning the Irish accent of an actual Irish actor, you know there's something amiss. Watching 'Wild Mountain Thyme', Christopher Walken's attempt at an Irish accent made my ears bleed. Emily Blunt... well, that woman can do no wrong in my book. Make wrong choices perhaps, but her actions are perfection. And then there's dear Jamie Dornan, the only certified Irish individual in the bunch - and, well, I have questions.
The characters are vague, bordering on dull, and invoke little to no empathy as a result.
There's one rather lengthy scene in the second half that almost salvages the film thanks to some surprisingly great dialogue and the incomparable Ms Blunt delivering about 95% of it. However, as one reviewer before me spoiled - either as an act of kindness to the filmmakers and distributors who weren't exactly selling that shit out of this one, or perhaps an act of douchebaggery depending on your perspective - there is a slight twist this scene reveals that, while intriguing, creates a buzz for about half a second before sending the inane story plummeting back down to Earth with barely a sound as it smacks the dirt, seeing that it didn't exactly reach lofty height to begin with.
I cannot, in good conscience, recommend anyone sit through these tedious 102 minutes that feel so much longer, but if you're in the mood for a quiet film that requires virtually no brainpower, or perhaps you have a deep-seated love of Emily and/or Jamie, then yeah, give this one a go.