© drei-freunde

The Bachelor Weekend
Ireland 2013

Opening 6 Nov 2014

Directed by: John Butler
Writing credits: John Butler, Peter McDonald
Principal actors: Andrew Scott, Hugh O'Conor, Peter McDonald, Brian Gleeson, Michael Legge

Ruth and Fionnan are planning their wedding. Ruth convinces Davin, the best man, to organize a bachelor party for Fionnan with his friend Simon, as well as big Kevin and small Kevin (the obligatory gay couple). None of the five guys are really very thrilled about the prospect, and there is even less enthusiasm when Ruth’s brother, Richard aka The Machine, shows up. He is obnoxious, insulting, full of himself and belittling. So, it’s off they go into the woods, where they proceed to lose the car keys, the compass, their phones, their camping tent, and eventually all of their clothes. They aren’t much more fun totally naked, but forward they go, preening as “real” men, even when walking single file like addled penguins. Additional hindrances are a fire, an electric fence, a bull, and general stupidity.

The film begins with the sound track of “You are the Sunshine in my Life,” while it’s raining and continues from one sorry cliché to the next – nothing against clichés if they are even a bit original (an oxymoron perhaps), but here it’s just not amusing. Perhaps the Irish need sadness underneath the so-called fun. In the end there is the obligatory wedding and wedding speeches about how “we all held together and are one” or something similar, much like the final wedding speech in Love, Rosie. Perhaps all bachelor parties are no fun at heart; I’ve seen bachelor parties in downtown Hamburg – called Junggesellenabschiede, where the perspective groom is dressed up like Alice in Wonderland and his buddies are either on the verge of alcohol poisoning or hoping to disappear for home as soon as possible.

Director John Butler said that “the film is about very modern, Irish men, who normally wouldn’t participate in a bachelor party.” Peter McDonald wrote the screenplay together with Butler and gave himself the leading role of The Machine. This is perhaps something for adolescent boys, if they aren’t doing something more interesting like playing some 1000-hour computer game. Everyone else might be better off with Sex on the Beach 2 (The Inbetweeners 2) or Think like a Man Too, two sequels which were more successful at showing men at their worst. (Becky Tan)

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