Directed by Christopher Monger
Screenplay by Ifor David Monger
Starring: Hugh Grant, Tara Fitzgerald, Colm Meaney, Ian McNeice
Reginald Anson (Grant) and George Garrad (McNeice) are English cartographers assigned to measure the hills and mountains of Wales. When they come to the small town of Ffynnon Garw they begin their work in measuring the town’s mountain. To the dismay of the town’s people, their measurements have reduced the mountain to a hill, coming up short of the required height. Now the town, led by Morgan the Goat (Meaney), is working hard to convince the men to reconsider, and they’re going to great lengths to get their mountain back.
Christopher Monger (Temple Grandin) worked on this film both as a writer and director. The screenplay was written by Christopher Monger’s father, Ifor David Monger. The cast includes Hugh Grant (About a Boy), Tara Fitzgerald (Sirens), Colm Meaney (The Last of the Mohicans), and Ian McNeice (Valkyrie).
This movie is a unique piece of historical fiction based on a fun and somewhat ridiculous premise. Thankfully, the whole story is played out with World War I in the backdrop. This provides a level of seriousness to the story that keeps things from being too cheesy. The story is mainly a comedy, but the dramatic aspects of the film work nicely. Overall, this film suffers from a lack of substance that gave way to way too much filler. The dialogue is witty at times, but nothing that overcomes the lack of momentum in the story. This is a good story, but far from great.
The acting in this movie is pretty predictable considering the cast. Hugh Grant does a good job as the awkward Englishman, a role he’s played a few times before. (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Sense and Sensibility) Tara Fitzgerald, Colm Meaney, and Ian McNeice also do a nice job with their roles in this one. If anything, the actors worked nicely with the lack of material that they were given. The rest of the supporting cast do a good job creating the dozens of unique characters in the small town in Wales.
Overall, this movie relies far too much on the expected charm of the story. The acting is good, but there wasn’t enough to work with to make it great. The movie will work for fans of Hugh Grant or the other bigger names in the cast. I would also recommend this to fans of period films or historical fiction. I give this one 2.7 out of 5 stars.