What we did on our holiday

Oh! Those darn scene-stealing child-actors. In What we did on our holiday they are sooooo cute! And they are good actors. For instance, 5-year-old Harriet Turnbull who plays Jess McLeod, is able to have nonsensical conversations about the pet rocks and bricks she plans to bring to the Scottish highlands for her granddad’s birthday party. She calls them her friends. Her parents are Doug and Abi McLeod (David Tennant and Rosamund Pike). Also going to Scotland are quiet and sensitive 11-year-old Lottie (Emilia Jones) and, another cutie, 6-year-old Mickey (Bobby Smallridge). Mickey talks all the time, has got an opinion about everything and thinks there are still vikings in Scotland. If you can turn your attention towards the adults for a few minutes during the film there is actually a thin plot. Doug and Abi are separated and seeking a divorce because of Doug’s infidelity. They are constantly fighting. This puts a stress on the kids, especially Jess who reacts by stealing things, like the house keys. Their divorce is to be kept a secret from the family. His brother Gavin (an annoying Ben Miller) is an angry, competitive control freak (and yes, annoying). Gavin’s wife, Margaret, spends an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen hiding her mental illness, while their teenage son, Kenneth (Lewis Davie), keeps taking abuse and insults from an angry Gavin. And then there is granddad Gordon (Billy Connolly). Doug and Gavin’s father is a cliché: The old, sage, grandfatherly Scottish man with a brogue and endless streams of platitudes. Gordon is dying of cancer, hence the birthday party. As with all grandparents, Gordon loves his grandkids. Connolly is very good even if the character is a bit of a bore. What we did on our holiday has a few moments of laugh out loud comedy. But is a complete failure when it deals with pathos and drama. It’s a British sitcom film, and not a very good one, inspired by a British sitcom. It could have been worse. Without 5-year-old Harriet Turnbull and 6-year-old Bobby Smallridge it would have been a disaster. Sooooo cute I’m telling you, and sooooo funny!

Rémi-Serge Gratton

What we did on our holiday

Directed by:
Andy Hamilton
Guy Jenkin

Screenplay by:
Andy Hamilton
Guy Jenkin
inspired by the
BBC sitcom Outnumbered

Starring:
Rosamund Pike
David Tennant
Billy Connolly
Emilia Jones
Bobby Smallridge
Harriet Turnbull
Ben Miller

95 min.

RatedParental Guidance

 

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