• Review: What We Did On Our Holiday (2014)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun Sep 18 11:18:09 2016
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    *1/2 (out of ****)

    W.C. Fields' famously pithy assertion that actors should never work with children or animals appears to have been overlooked by the makers of "What
    We Did On Our Holiday." The children part at least, since Andy Hamilton
    and Guy Jenkin have populated their hollow photoplay about death and
    divorce with three of the little perishers, two of whom prove that America
    does not hold a monopoly on obnoxious brats. But the insufferable kids,
    who appear to be ad-libbing all of their one-liners, are only part of the problem with this lame-brained attempt at heartwarming comedy. Poor
    writing, truly bizarre camerawork, and an insipid musical score compete to scupper the film before it's more than ten minutes old. A plot synopsis,
    taken from the back of the DVD, is as poorly conceived as the film itself: "Doug (David Tennant) and Abi (Oscar-nominee Rosamund Pike) take their kids
    on a family vacation. Surrounded by relatives, the kids innocently reveal
    the ins and outs of their family life and many intimate details about their parents. It's soon clear that when it comes to keeping a big secret under wraps from the rest of the family, their children are their biggest liability..." As for the animals, the occasional ostrich wanders past cinematographer Martin Hawkins' viewfinder--the film is set in the wilds of Scotland so one can only assume it's meant to be funny--but their inclusion
    is as inexplicable as the rest of this thin and terminally-tired exercise
    in how *not* to spend your summer vacation. With Billy Connolly.

    David N. Butterworth

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