Running time: 102 minutes. Rated PG-13 (some thematic parts, suggestive feedback). In choose theaters and on demand Friday.
John Patrick Shanley, the author of “Moonstruck,” made one deadly error along with his new romantic comedy, “Wild Mountain Thyme”: He directed it.
It’s a mistake the person has made earlier than, when he helmed the movie adaptation of his Broadway play “Doubt” in 2008. Meryl Streep and Amy Adams gave sturdy performances of his harrowing script about Brooklyn nuns, however Shanley’s small-scale model behind the digicam lacked emotional sweep and compelling pacing.
It’s extra noticeable this “Thyme” as a result of the movie, which is predicated on Shanley’s 2014 Broadway play “Outside Mullingar,” is ready on lush Irish farms. Instead of transporting us to a wide-open surroundings, the gorgeous surroundings is lowered to a placing inexperienced.
That saps away a lot of the romance on this comedy, particularly within the early scenes once we first meet Anthony (Jamie Dornan) and Rosemary (Emily Blunt), neighboring farmers who domesticate crops — and sexual pressure.
While chilly Rosemary quietly pines for Anthony, his pop (Christopher Walken) needs to promote the household farm to a high-rolling nephew from New York (Jon Hamm), who charms his means into being the courtship’s third wheel. “Moonstruck” followers will even respect that there’s a household curse concerned.
It takes some time to get to the movie’s greatest scene — all the way in which to the tip, the truth is. It’s a climactic sequence throughout a torrential downpour, when Rosemary sits Anthony down in her farmhouse eating room, will get him drunk on Guinness and forces the awkward lad to confront the dangling threads of their scenario.
Their burning back-and-forth is quick as a cable information show, and Blunt and Dornan’s chemistry eclipses something the hunky actor ever managed with Dakota Johnson in “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
That scene can also be a lot much less hackneyed than Rosemary’s on-the-nose sparring with Hamm’s Adam when he first arrives on the town behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce and talks to the distracted lady about her farm.
“How do you not know what number of acres you have?” he asks.
“It’s only a quantity,” Rosemary replies.
“I’m all about numbers!” he retorts.
Shanley’s writing bounces between that kind of painfully apparent character commentary and moments of magic. Still, it is his tunnel-visioned path (whose thought was it to cast Walken as a rural Irish dad?) that makes for a meager harvest.