For anyone feeling a bit down, or that the world is somehow against them, the new ‘Britcom’ movie Fisherman’s Friends is bound to lift your spirits.
The widely acclaimed, true story of 10 Cornish fishermen who make it into the UK hit parade with one of their raucously sung sea shanties is a joy to behold, and guaranteed to make you feel good.
Directed by Chris Foggin from a screenplay by Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard and Piers Ashworth, the story begins when a group of record executives take a short stag weekend in Port Isaac, Cornwall.
As they are looking for somewhere to find a drink, the guys stumble upon an all-male ‘a capella’ folk singing group strutting their stuff in front of a small crowd on the seafront.
Group leader, the ever-confident Danny (Daniel Mays), is soon egged on by his shallow PR-executive mates to offer the authentic, sea shanty-singing group a genuine record deal.
Not knowing his friends are winding him up, Danny immediately launches into a marketing spiel with the group of gnarled and weather-beaten over-60s, led by Jim (James Purefoy), Jago (David Hayman) and Leadville (Dave Johns).
At first the singers are understandably cautious – and break into uproarious laughter at Danny’s proposal.
However, when they realise he is serious and some money could be made, the struggling fishermen relent.
Each one of them has their own tale of economic difficulty, and perhaps this offer could be the lifeline they need to overcome their problems.
The film continues on in this slightly clichéd yet lovable way, and just to spice it up a bit, Danny also has an eye for Jim’s single-mum daughter Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton).
There is no doubting the chemistry between these two, although it is tempered by Alwyn’s father’s mistrust of ‘City types’, and the fact that she was ‘once bitten, twice shy’ after a painful previous relationship.
The beauty of this film though lies in its authenticity, and the fact that despite all of the setbacks, and some of the least-subtle humour to be seen in a movie for a long time, it can still warm the heart and restore our faith in human nature.
In fact, without giving too much away, it brings out the best in all concerned, leaving the audience with a warm and fuzzy feeling that would melt even the hardest heart.
Fisherman’s Friends is showing at Luna Leederville, Luna SX and Windsor Cinema from Thursday November 21.
By Mike Peeters