Douchebags on the edge of town

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - DON­ALD CLARKE

GET UP AND GO Di­rected by Bren­dan Grant. Star­ring Peter Coo­nan, Kil­lian Scott, Gemma-Leah Dev­ereux, Sara Lloyd-Gre­gory, Emma El­iza Re­gan. 15A cert, limited re­lease, 98 min There are worse ways of spend­ing a mod­est bud­get than hav­ing your char­ac­ters walk and talk their way around a ma­jor city as some con­trived dead­line looms. We can’t tell what mod­els Bren­dan Grant had in mind, but, on pa­per, the sce­nario reads a lit­tle like an at­tempt to re­draw With­nail and I for the new cen­tury.

Peter Coo­nan plays Alexander, a largely ghastly layabout who, hav­ing just learned that his girl­friend is preg­nant, elects to take the boat (how 1986 of him!) for Eng­land. Fel­low Love/Hate alum­nus Kil­lian Scott is Colin, his less ghastly friend, a co­me­dian on the brink of his big break.

In re­al­ity, the dy­nam­ics of this Ir­ish and Welsh co-pro­duc­tion are closer to that of a Pound Shop Judd Apa­tow joint with Coo­nan in the Seth Ro­gen role (boor­ish shit) and Scott stand­ing in for James Franco (con­fused naïf).

Sadly, Coo­nan is given in­suf­fi­cient ma­te­rial to make any­thing even vaguely lik­able of Alexander. His ca­sual dis­taste for women is so rarely tem­pered by any­thing like charm that the film it­self – a pu­ta­tive com­edy – be­gins to take on a mildly misog­y­nis­tic air. It doesn’t help that one of the key fe­male char­ac­ters turns out to be some­thing close to a lu­natic.

For all that, the con­sis­tently ex­cel­lent ac­tors do man­age to dis­tract from the mis­an­thropy with sharp tim­ing and nu­anced de­liv­ery. There are, per­haps, more than enough scenes in vogu­ish Dublin hostel­ries – the re­doubtable Fum­bally on Clan­bras­sil Street is among those fig­ur­ing – but the film’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to en­gage with the city streets is very wel­come.

Vladimir Trivic’s mo­bile cam­era gets ev­ery­where it needs to go. Sara Lloyd-Gre­gory and Gemma-Leah Dev­ereux do their best with un­der­writ­ten fe­male roles.

In short, the outer me­chan­ics of the film all click along smoothly, but there is more than a lit­tle miss­ing from its soul. Then again, you could say that about most Judd Apa­tow films.

Ready, steady: Kil­lian Scott and Peter Coo­nan

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