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Corny it may be – we’ve hardly got five minutes in before someone’s used the phrase “Davy Jones’s locker” – but this gentle, sweet-natured comedy has warmth and a certain X factor of likability, helped by big-hearted performances from a cast including Daniel Mays and Tuppence Middleton. It’s inspired by the true story of the Fisherman’s Friends, an all-male a capella folk singing group from Port Isaac in Cornwall who in the noughties became an unexpected hit for their authentic sea shanties.
Danny (Mays) is a music executive who travels to Cornwall on a stag weekend with a bunch of his shallow London music PR mates – joining in with their inanities just to soothe his secret loneliness – and he’s pranked by them into offering to sign the local sea shanty singers, led by Jim (James Purefoy), Jago (David Hayman) and Leadville (Dave Johns). But of course something in the music speaks to Danny’s romantic soul; he starts to fall in love with Jim’s single-mum daughter Alwyn (Middleton) and he makes it his mission to bring the Fisherman’s Friends and their music to the world.
As I say, this movie’s winning no prizes for subtlety. Naturally, we get the “sucking a Fisherman’s Friend” gag and of course the band is awarded the now mandatory oh-my-God-we’ve-gone-viral-on-something-called-YouTube moment. But if it’s good enough for Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born, it’s good enough for these Cornish lads. Their singing is robustly and winningly performed, and the whole thing is heartfelt. Nice also to see Maggie Steed as the local pub’s landlady. It’s pretty goofy but fun.
Source: The Guardian
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