Mrs. Brown (Brendan O’Carroll), the mother of six spends her days on a fruit and veg market stall in Dublin. Her life is turned upside down by an unpaid tax bill of â‚¬5m. It turns out it is all the plan of a dastardly politician who wants to develop the market where the stall stands and creates a convoluted plan to take it away from her through that also involves Russian mafia and a crooked lawyer.
It might surprise you to learn that Agnes Brown has appeared in film before. Played by the great Anjelica Huston, she was a straight-laced character taken directly from the pages of Brendan O’Carroll’s book The Mammy. It was a failure, so the author took it upon himself to dress up in the clothes and wig and bring her to the small screen in comedy form.
Conceived and created by Brendan O’Carroll and staring a large number of his friends and family, the TV show has proved an enormous commercial hit and regularly wins fan-voted polls. It has however invited critical derision due to its formulaic and base approach to comedy. The film follows the same approach.
The plot doesn’t really matter because it’s really just an excuse for a series of sketches similar to the TV show on which it is based. Whereas some TV-to-film adaptations attempt to avoid the clichÃ© of them just being extended episodes, Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie embraces this, providing no cinematic class of skill outside of a couple of dance numbers that bookend the narrative and provide the only saving grace in the whole 90 minutes of ˜entertainment.’
We are treated to visual gags like the troupe of blind ninjas or the acronym for the politician’s campaign PR Irwin Campain (PRIC). It also takes great pleasure in poking fun at politics, the law, the press and basically anyone who has bothered to educate themselves in any way. God forbid that someone should attempt to break the mould or do something other than what their family have done before. Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie plays to its core audience, those that fear change and anything other than fart gags and mild racism.
There is not one ounce of creativity in presentation, there’s no comedy, engagement, direction or acting ability. Fans of the show will defend it with arguments of it’s a bit of a laugh or It doesn’t take itself too seriously. They might also suggest that it is snobby or somehow pretentious to compare it to other films and be so critical, and frankly they’re probably right. But if O’Carroll and friends want to present their ˜comedy’ to a cinema audience, make money out of it and increase their fame through the medium of cinema then they become fair game for this sort of criticism.
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what critics say about this abomination in cinema history. Fans will continue to watch the show and the film and there will be a sequel on the way, so why fight it? When there are films out there worthy of time and effort that has gone into them and aren’t simply a jolly for the film-makers to line their pockets.
We fight it for the same reason we fight all culturally bankrupt, anti-intelligent ideas, because if we don’t we might as well be wallowing in the dirt with them.