Up the Dubs! – ★★★
Brendan O Carroll created Mrs. Brown for RTE 2fm back in 1992 and then went on to write a series of books about her through the mid nineties. The first of these, “The Mammy” was adapted into a film in 2000 called Agnes Brown which was directed by and starred Anjelica Huston as the titular character. So really this isn’t Mrs. Brown’s first foray into the world of cinema.
But this is of course a film version of the television show that has made Mrs. Brown a household name in Ireland, the U.K, Canada and Australia. O’Carroll wanted to avoid the mistake so many other television shows had made in the transition to film and therefore there would be no travelling to Ibiza, Santa Ponsa or Majorca. Mrs. Brown stays firmly in “Dubalin town”.
The story is plausible enough, Mrs. Brown’s stall on Moore Street is under threat by a Russian oligarch and dodgy politician but she isn’t for budging. There is the small issue of an outstanding tax bill in the amount of €4 million euro and if Agnes can’t find a long lost receipt she’ll be out on her arse.
The whole gang are on board for the caper that ensues along with some familiar Irish faces – Joe Duffy, Simon Delaney, Eamonn Holmes and former Irish rugby player Shane Byrne. The script is water tight with all plot points no matter how irrelevant or daft all having a purpose. The film even takes a rather unsuspecting turn in a very serious direction which gives the film a lot of heart.
Dublin looks fantastic and the film is a tourist board’s wet dream, taking in all that the city has to offer. The rubbish and junkies have all been airbrushed off the streets but then again this isn’t Ken Loach behind the camera. The message is family and how important they are because the bastards at the top will always bail out each other anyway. While it may be doing it in a whimsical, slightly smutty and at times borderline racist way, the film highlights how it is usually women left to carry the can when times of economic difficulty are present and how they are so easily dismissed and forgotten when the sun starts to shine once more.
Of course the film won’t be to some people’s taste but Mrs. Brown’s Boys follows on from a long line of British television shows including Hi-de-Hi! Are You Being Served? and the awful ‘Allo ‘Allo!. For every Monty Python, there’s a Benny Hill and for every Louis there’s a Mrs. Brown’s Boys. Long may she continue.
Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie was released nationwide on Friday the 27th of June.