By Valerie Milano
Tom Bennett and Beattie Edmondson in Patrick
© Pugnacious Films Ltd
Who's a Mediocre Boy? You're a Mediocre Boy!
A film from Blackadder and
Absolutely Fabulous writer/director Mandie Fletcher, starring a baker's dozen of beloved BritCom vets - including the great
Jennifer Saunders herself - and a big-eyed, squishy face pug dog... what could possibly go wrong?
Well, nothing. But then, nothing really goes right, either, in this blandly acceptable family-friendly romp. It's basically a Hallmark rom-com with an English accent, only this time the mismatched love interest with the tough exterior and the loyal heart also has a flat wet nose.
Beattie Edmonson (Saunders' real-life daughter) stars as Sarah, the klutzy, unlucky-in-love schoolteacher who inherits the spoiled pug dog Patrick from her late grandmother. Will Sarah get evicted from her no-pets-allowed flat? Will her new students like her? Will she find true love with one of the handsome men who seem to show up every time she walks the dog?
It would be easier to empathize with Sarah if she weren't so chronically incompetent. Can you really feel sorry for someone who shows up late for her first day at a new job when she can't even get it together to set an alarm clock? It's your first day at a new job, lady. Set your iPhone! Her life-changing, character-testing challenge is finishing - not even winning, just finishing - a measly 3-mile fun-run. This isn't the Olympics and you don't have polio. Dial back the tears, 'kay?
The stakes are low. The characters are stock. The plot is predictable. The whole thing could as easily have been made in 1973. The best thing you can say about Patrick the movie is that it's inoffensive. And Patrick the dog is adorable.
If you need to take an aging aunt to the movies - and said aunt likes pugs - go ahead and see Patrick. Otherwise, tuck up at home and dig into a few episodes of
AbFab. Now there's some BritCom for you.
Screen Media and Wagging Tales Productions present PATRICK
Producers: Vanessa Davies, Paul de Vos, James Spring
Sceenplay: Vanessa Davies, Mandie Fletcher, Paul de Vos, Sue Latimer
Directed by: Mandie Fletcher
Production design: Harry Banks
Editing: Matthew Tucker
Cinematography: Chris Goodger
Music: Michael Price
Cast: Beattie Edmonson, Ed Skrein, Tom Bennett, Peter Davison, Bernard Cribbins, Jennifer Saunders, Meera Syal, Cherie Lunghi, Gemma Jones, Emilia Jones.
Opens in select theaters and VOD February 15