Saturday, January 23, 2016

What We Did On Our Holiday: Movie Review

Hilarious, genuine, inventive fun.

What We Did on Our Holiday really sneaks up on you. With an insignificant title and a simple premise of a bickering married couple going on vacation with their family, viewers aren’t expecting much more than cute. But it takes less than three minutes for “cute” to turn into unexpectedly hilarious. After an hour, the now expected hilarity turns into inventive fun, but you are never led astray. It is a simple comedy about a bickering family on holiday. It’s also funny, creative, original and heartfelt. 2015

Directed by: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin

Screenplay by: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin

Starring: Rosamund Pike, David Tennant

Portrayed by underrated actors Rosamund Pike and David Tennant, Doug and Abi have three kids, are currently separated and about to get divorced. Meanwhile, Doug’s ailing father Gordie (Billy Connolly) is having a birthday party. Considering his age and poor health the family is prepared for this being his last birthday, but the kids are a bit too young to fully appreciate that concept. The kids have a lot of other concerns on their mind anyways. They’re also responsible for much of the hilarious lines and are completely responsible for the unexpected zaniness.

Lottie (Emilia Jones) is the eldest child. She knows that her parents are getting divorced and has now turned to documenting all their fights and all the lies they tell. The current “lie” is not telling granddad that they have separated. It’s his birthday so there’s just no point in breaking the sad news. Mickey (Bobby Smalldridge) is the middle child. He’s currently in a Viking phase and all of his actions are based on what the Norse god Odin would do. Jess (Harriet Turnbull) is the youngest daughter. In response to her parents’ separation, she has developed some unfortunate character traits from the strange but harmless adopting rocks as pets, to theft, to the more dangerous holding her breath until she passes out.

I’m sure at this point it sounds pretty bleak, but there’s a real genuineness to all the characters and none of them are mean-spirited that it’s just pure comedy and heartfelt at all times. Even when Abi and Doug are fighting, you know it’s not about hatred but a love that is past its prime.

There’s an actual story happening here, one that is best left unspoiled and one you’ve probably never seen before. The kids find themselves on their own coming up with their own way of doing things while tbe parents are fighting and preparing for the birthday party. Eventually things come to a head. Finding the right tone for the resolve is difficult, but all the comedy that came before it can help keep the audience connected until the end.
Best of 2015