Aye, aye, aye. From John Patrick Shanley - the man who wrote "Moonstruck" and directed films like "Doubt" and "Joe Versus the Volcano" - wait until you get a whiff of "Wild Mountain Thyme," a movie so bad that I could easily see it becoming a cult-classic for all the wrong reasons.
The first thing you'll notice is the accents. "Wild Mountain Thyme" is the screen-adaptation of Shanley's play, "Outside Mullingar." Set in the rolling green hills of Ireland, the Reilly family patriarch, Tony (Christopher Walken), wants to leave his inherited lands and farm in good hands when he's gone. But his son Anthony (Jamie Dornan) is not his first choice, so in comes Tony's American nephew, Adam (Jon Hamm). Conflict ensues. All the while, Anthony's childhood friend and the literal girl-next-door, Rosemary (Emily Blunt), gets caught in a love-triangle between the two young men, who are pining for her approval and her love while they frolic in the misty, musty Irish hillside.
Did I mention the accents? Much of "Wild Mountain Thyme" borders on a bad SNL skit, but one that traps you in it for nearly two hours. Christopher Walken - a man with a voice as iconic and as recognizable as they come - does his best Lucky Charm leprechaun impression, to comical effect. The lovely Emily Blunt struggles with hers along the way as well. And even James Dornan - an actor of Irish descent - can't seem to find it. But wait, it get's worse.
About 20 minutes in, once you realize that this is not a parody and that the bad accents are meant to be authentic accents, you'll notice that the words they are butchering are even worse. Walken's "Irish proverb" opening voice-over about "If an Irishman dies while telling a story, he never really goes away" or some lame shit like that, is brought back again (spoiler alert!) to close out the film as some sort of poetic statement. The dialogue and most scenes play out in a magical land where real people don't exist, and cringing is nearly the only acceptable reaction.
"Wild Mountain Thyme" feels like it was created by aliens, who had maybe seen one episode of an Irish soap opera and then were tasked with making a film for humans. It avoids a pure "F" grade only because it is the rare film that manages to round the corner...it is truly so bad that I'd rather recommend someone watch it once just to gauge their response as opposed to telling someone not to see it at all. Will this thing end up in independent theaters playing at midnights, with rabid fans throwing different spices and herbs at the screen? Now that would be a good thyme...er...time.
Genre: Drama, Romance.
Run Time: 1 hour 42 minutes.
Starring: Emily Blunt, James Dornan, Jon Hamm, Christopher Walken, Jon Tenney, Danielle Ryan.
Written and Directed by John Patrick Shanley ("Doubt," "Joe Versus the Volcano").
"Wild Mountain Thyme" is available on VOD on Friday, December 11th, 2020.
Looking for a specific movie or review?