#REVIEW: “WILD MOUNTAIN THYME”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
Years ago, on a flight heading to Central Europe, my plane had to refuel in Cork, Ireland. I was overwhelmed by the beauty and lushness of the countryside from miles above and I was thrilled to relive those feelings of awe when WILD MOUNTAIN THYME opens with scenes from what has to be one of this planet’s most stunning vistas. When you add the pulchritude of Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan to this equation and its pedigree of Oscar and Emmy recipients, both in front of and behind the scenes, you have all the hallmarks of a winning, romantic comedy.
Rosemary (played by Blunt) owns the neighboring farm to Anthony (Dornan) who is upset that his father (Christopher Walken) plans to leave the farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm) upon his death. Rosemary has been in love with Anthony since childhood, never knowing he felt the same towards her and had planned to propose marriage but had lost his dead mother’s wedding band on the way over one night. Oh, further bizarreness occurs.
Based on his Play, Writer/Director John Patrick Shanley has taken all the winning components of his masterpiece “Moonstruck”, whirled it in a blender ensuring to add more scenes of full moons, a few extra dashes of magical realism and changing the unconvincing New York accents with undecipherable Irish ones then blanketed WILD MOUNTAIN THYME in a thick quilt of quirk. With minimal screen time devoted to Rosemary with Anthony throughout the first half of the Movie, it was difficult to see any chemistry between the two that would warrant a story but at the end, when it’s just Blunt and Dornan, the screen sizzles. Some of the eccentricities work (one reason Walken won’t leave the farm to his son is because he likes to fish) whereas others are cringeworthy (Hamm arrives at the farm he’s about to inherit in a Rolls Royce).
The Critic in me wants to slam WILD MOUNTAIN THYME, but there’s one big reason why I just can’t do it. In this time of lockdown, this Movie offers everything our souls need right now. Escape. Romance. Quirk. Blunt and Dornan rise above the material and they even sing a song together. Every now and again, the music from “Swan Lake” elevates the Soundtrack. And the Irish countryside is proof of a higher existence, Therefore the audience member in me told the critic in me to take a chill pill and to just bask in what WILD MOUNTAIN THYME offers and enjoy. Which I did!
Elevation Pictures release WILD MOUTAIN THYME digitally and on-demand Tuesday, December 22, 2020.