Every so often, I will check out a film just based on who is behind the scenes. Screenwriter John Patrick Shanley’s latest project Wild Mountain Thyme is one of the movies. The writer who won an Oscar back in 1987 for penning the still classic Moonstruck returns to the romance genre. Shanley brings his sweeping romantic vision to Ireland with Wild Mountain Thyme. The headstrong farmer Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt) has her heart set on winning her neighbor Anthony Reilly’s love. The problem is Anthony (Jamie Dornan) seems to have inherited a family curse and remains oblivious to his beautiful admirer. When he discovers his father Tony (Christopher Walken) plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm), Anthony springs into action.
I love a good romantic comedy. I figured with a cast made up of the likable Emily Blunt and Jamie Dorman that the film would be enjoyable. Sadly the film has earned a spot in one of my years ten worst. The film’s accents are terrible for starters, which is surprising given that Jamie Dornan is from Northern Ireland. Talented thespian Christopher Walken is on autopilot and why he was cast in the role is beyond me. Emily Blunt is ok for the most part, but seeing as she is from London and not Ireland, some may find this offensive. The only bright spot in the film’s casting is Jon Hamm, and his role ends up as an extended cameo.
I also had issues with the film’s pacing as it is painfully slow. I looked at my watch numerous times and couldn’t wait for the film to end. John Patrick Shanley is a talented writer in his own right. Still, his adaptation of his own play to the big screen just doesn’t transition well. Perhaps releasing a filmed version of the stage play would’ve produced a better end result.
Final Grade : D
Wild Mountain Thyme opens in theaters today and is also available on demand here and here