Wild Mountain Thyme: Film Review

Wild Mountain Thyme

Wild Mountain Thyme was ridiculed on social media over the cast’s dodgy Irish accents in the trailer late last year and I held back and decided to give the movie the benefit of the doubt and judge it in its entirety. Well, everybody was on the money because this movie is bad and absolutely bonkers.

Directed by John Patrick Shanley, who has adapted his 2014 Broadway play Outside Mullingar, Wild Mountain Thyme stars Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan as Rosemary Muldoon and Anthony Reilly, who have lived on neighbouring farms in Ireland since they were kids. She has been in love with him for years and he’s absolutely oblivious. However, when his American cousin Adam Kelly (Jon Hamm) visits the farm, with the view of taking it over after Anthony’s father Tony (Christopher Walken) dies, he complicates matters by taking a liking to Rosemary.

It’s hard to understand why such talented actors would sign up for this barmy and over-the-top romantic comedy. The absurdity of it is quite amusing and I chuckled at it (not with it) often but mostly about how silly it all was – and that’s before I reached the late twist that is so ridiculous that I sat in disbelief, scratching my head, wondering if I had really just heard those lines correctly. I hadn’t been taking the frivolous, lightweight movie all that seriously, but the ending was just on a whole other level and I’m baffled by Shanley’s decision to go down such an unexpected and bizarre route.

Blunt and Dornan’s characters don’t seem like real people; she’s so sassy and headstrong that she stomps around and huffs a lot, while he’s so awkward and eccentric, you can see why his father doesn’t want to leave the farm to him when his charming and smooth American nephew is willing to do the job. The screenplay never manages to make them anything more than caricatures, it’s littered with cliched Irish references – to accompany the obvious landscape shots – and the accents don’t help matters.

As the trailer made very obvious, the accents in Wild Mountain Thyme are all over the place. Walken barely attempts to do it and Blunt goes overboard so they are both baffling bad. Dornan comes off slightly better since he’s Northern Irish but he clearly had some trouble switching to Irish and his effort is very inconsistent. Hamm is saved by the fact that he has to play a suave American businessman, something he’s got some experience in.

You can’t help but expect more from this film given the A-list cast and the fact Shanley is a Tony and Oscar-winning playwright and filmmaker, but sadly, Wild Mountain Thyme amounts to nothing more than an absurd and forgettable romcom that was a misjudgement for all involved.

On digital platforms from Friday 30th April

Rating: 2 out of 5.