Part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival
It’s the classic road movie story: womanising father and wimpy son travel to Edinburgh to promote the former’s newest book translation, heal the broken wrist of the latter and escape the fiery women of both. In the process, the pair try their hand at fly fishing, score tickets to see the band which give the film its name and become a little bit more like each other – and, more importantly, a little bit less like themselves.
Like many comedies along similar lines, the duo are so mismatched that it almost beggars belief they share the same bloodline. The philandering and ever boisterous behaviour of father Victor (Leopold Witte) is juxtaposed with the wouldn’t-say-boo-to-a-goose self-consciousness of his musician son Zach (Tim Linde), which paves the way for some witty dialogue and more than one memorable set-piece.
Both actors acquit themselves admirably; Witte’s practiced schmaltz retains just enough charm to see why many women do fall into bed with him, while Linde treads the line well between a puppy who flinches at the merest sign of affection and a bluebottle which causes impatience with its incessant buzzing against the window. Elsewhere, Helen Belbin is a tad too matronly but still entirely believable as the PR agent intent on busting Victor’s balls, while Miles Jupp puts in a small but memorable cameo as her brother.
Outside of a handful of clever lines, the script is heart-warmingly goofy at large, only veering into sentimental territory once or twice, which works to its benefit. Meanwhile, beautiful shots of the Scottish countryside and of Edinburgh are used to good effect, even if the camerawork does suggest some rather improbable bus routes. Victor’s attitudes towards Scotland and the Scots is somewhat narrow-minded at times, but allowances can be made for his personal predicament and for the vehicle this commentary serves to demonstrate his character development.
Much of the film takes the form of a hedonistic blur (at least for Victor) as drinks, dancing and general tomfoolery come thick and fast. However, as the sun comes up and the curtain comes down at its maudlin climax, it attempts something of a sobering, mature conclusion. The final result is an enjoyable romp with a few nuggets of wisdom thrown in for good measure, though it’s unlikely to change any lives. Still, worth a watch all the same.