Douchebags on the edge of town
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