Fisherman’s Friends ★★★★

Being a bit of a folkie who has a couple of albums of Port Isaac's shanty choir, the Fisherman's Friends, I was a bit apprehensive about this. I feared that this movie was going for the 'grey pound' audience and, as we all know, those films are cringeworthy and dull.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when I realised that the main influence for this romanticised biopic was actually Bill Forysth's Local Hero. OK, it's nowhere near as good as that film (what is?!) and its plot packs no surprises. Indeed, there's nothing here for the uninitiated; the story of eccentric underdogs overcoming adversity and achieving seemingly impossible success is the same familiar trope that has been the mainstay of British comedy films since The Full Monty, but this is a quiet charmer with its heart in the right place played beautifully by a strong ensemble cast. And Cornwall, it goes without saying, looks stunning.

I'm probably rating this a bit too generously, but I'm just genuinely relieved that I felt so comfortable and relaxed watching this, rather than bored and embarrassed as I have done in the past with the likes of Walk Like a Panther, Finding Your Feet, The Love Punch and Golden Years. Fisherman's Friends, like the albums from the band themselves, is something I think I'll be revisiting.

Mark liked these reviews