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Movie Reviews

Waking Ned  

I suppose I should start this review by stating that Waking Ned is not a terrible film – but it’s always worse when you expect a lot from a film and it fails to deliver.

Because I’d been looking forward to seeing Waking Ned. The reviews had all been glowing, it had been a minor box office success in America, and the concept, the setting, and the cast seemed to guarantee that it would be an entertaining film.

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Buy a Waking Ned Poster

But no. Oh no. Waking Ned is about as patronising, dated and tedious as comedies get. I cant imagine for a second why the Americans were taken in by it’s alleged ‘cheeky irish charm’ because, quite frankly, there is just so little to this film. It’s poorly written, largely unfunny, and painfully predictable. And the central message – ‘just because you’re old doesn’t mean you still cant have fun and live life to its fullest’ is just so patronising I don’t even know where to begin.

Released during the first couple of years of Britain’s national lottery, when people were still hopeful that winning a million would happen to them at any moment, the film has dated terribly now. In an age where people are variously divorcing/fighting/killing each other over the money, the dull adventures of a couple of Irish folk attempting to fool the lottery commission in to thinking they are the rightful owners of the winning lottery ticket is just, sadly, banal. Add to this already disastrous mix as many stereotypes as possible, a tedious romantic subplot between two of the younger cast members, and an ending that could be predicted from the opening credits and you’ve got a film that is not only a waste of time and money, but also the acting skills of a generally talented cast.

Like an episode of the long running Brit com ‘The Last of The Summer Wine’ that threatens never to end, but without any of that show’s occasionally genuine charm, Waking Ned will only really appeal to the elderly and out of touch. Which is a real shame as it had so much potential. Sigh. If only it had been co-written by Chris Morris or The League of Gentlemen it could have become a dark British classic. As it is, it’s just another slight light hearted comedy. Without any real laughs.

Alex Finch

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