Opening August 8, 2019
Directed by: Chris Foggin
Writing credits: Piers Ashworth, Meg Leonard, Nick Moorcroft
Principal actors: Daniel Mays, James Purefoy, Tuppence Middleton, David Hayman, Christopher Villiers
Chris Foggin directs a screenplay by Piers Ashworth, Meg Leonard, and Nick Moorcroft that is interwoven with humor and predicaments, and based on the real thing. It is one of those stories that seem too good to be real, yet is. As well, the sea shanties will have you tapping your feet throughout.
Three Londoners (Mays, Noel Clarke, Vahid Gold) journey to the Cornwall district for their colleague’s (Christian Brassington) bachelor weekend. Landing in tiny Port Isaac, they are literally fish out of water. The sleepy fishing village comes to life, though, when the boats are in, and the catch is large. Then, a group of the guys sing—harmonizing—traditional sea shanties that Danny and mates happen to hear. They work for a record company, and are always on alert for new talent; therefore, fooling Danny is easy, especially since local lass Alwyn (Middleton) has caught his eye. By the time Danny realizes the ruse he is in deep water. These good-natured hard workingmen have terrific voices, a sense of humor, and are honest. Moreover, Alwyn’s relationships to the group are her dad Jim (Purefoy) and grandparents Jago (Hayman) and Maggie (Maggie Steed), plus the community’s allegiance and support is contagious. So the question is, sink or swim?
Filmed on location, cinematographer Simon Tindall captures the restful beauty of Port Isaac, and London’s hectic pace. Besides the terrific cast, villagers played cameo roles as well as the original band members whose photos accompany end credits. Rupert Christie’s music fills out gaps between the sea shanties; conversely, Johnny Daukes editing should have been tighter. For lighthearted entertainment, Fisherman's Friends is a good choice. 112 minutes (Marinell H.)