Wild Mountain Thyme review: Yes, it is bizarre, but it is also not the worst film ever made
Wild Mountain Thyme is weirdly watchable... at least until the final 20 minutes or so.
Maybe the pandemic has made me softer, but I didn't hate this film.
And we were all so quick to judge that trailer, weren't we?
Sure, the accents were a bit all over the place, the tone of the jokes felt extremely slapstick, and we were never fully sure which decade any of this was set in.
Having seen the full film, I can confirm that Wild Mountain Thyme isn't as bad as the trailer... until about 20 minutes from the end, when it does indeed collapse completely into awfulness.
Before then, it isn't even in contention for being the Worst Film Ever (or even the worst film of 2021), thanks to the performances.
Sure, the accents aren't great, but if you can successfully compartmentalise that bit, you're left with Emily Blunt and Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm, all very good actors, giving decently emotional performances. We've left out Jamie Dornan here not because he's a bad actor, but because the movie has absolutely no idea what to do with him other than fall over a lot.
At its core, it is a romantic comedy a bit obsessed with death and loneliness.
Tony Reilly (Walken) announces he's unsure if he's going to leave his farm to his son Anthony (Dornan) after he dies, mainly because Anthony is still single, and Tony suspects Anthony might be a bit mad. Anthony plans on proposing to his neighbour Rosemary (Blunt), who has held a spot in her heart for him since she was a very young girl, but he loses the engagement ring. He then spends ALMOST THE ENTIRE REST OF THE MOVIE using a metal detector to find the ring, dropped somewhere on their farms.
In the interim, Anthony's cousin Adam (Hamm) arrives from America, offering to buy the farm, and making Rosemary swoon a bit with his upfront approach to asking her out. What does this make Anthony do? If your answer was anything but "Look a bit more for the lost ring", you've guessed wrong.
We all know that rom-coms tend to exist in their own versions of reality, full with romantic runs through airports and very public declarations of love, but Wild Mountain Thyme goes beyond that, filled with people who look like humans but definitely don't act like them.
There is no real reason or rhyme as to why anybody does or says anything they do; words are said and actions are taken and you just have to sit there and kind of let it wash over you. And you allow it, because these actors are genuinely that good, that they almost hold it all together... until those final 20 minutes.
The movie completely collapses under the weight of that one final revelation, and you can see Blunt and Dornan absolutely straining through the scene to keep us engaged and involved, but there's no point. Alarm bells will be going off in your head, your brain looking to pull the ejector seat.
So does this qualify as "so bad it's good"? No, not really, because it genuinely isn't THAT bad.
Is it weird enough to warrant a watch? Yes, particularly for that ending, which retroactively tries to explain why everything feels a bit... off. It does feel like the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers tried to remake When Harry Met Sally and set it in a time-shifting rural Ireland.
Which, you have to admit, at least sounds interesting.
Wild Mountain Thyme will be available on PVOD platforms (Google Play, Rakuten TV, Apple TV, etc.) from Friday 30 April.
Clip via Lionsgate UK