What We Did on Our Holiday Cert 12A
The title for British comedy What We Did on Our Holiday may conjure up images of a bright and breezy affair but the reality is a little less candy-coated. The good news to report about this tale directed by Andy Hamiliton and Guy Jenkin, however, is that it's all the better for its edgy undertones.
So let's meet the McLeods, the family at the heart of affairs. London-based, they are about to embark on a journey to the Scottish Highlands to celebrate the 75th birthday of family patriarch Gordy McLeod (Billy Connolly). Suspicions that home is where the heartbreak is are confirmed with the revelation that parents Doug (David Tennant) and Abi (Rosamund Pike) are in the throes of marital meltdown while their three kids (Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge and Harriet Turnbull) are exhibiting varying degrees of emotional collateral damage.
A high gag count and terrific performances act as reminders you're still at a comedy, but arrival in the spectacular Scottish Highlands acts as a catalyst for more family turmoil. Their hosts, Doug's brother Gavin (Ben Miller) and his wife Margaret ( Amelia Bullmore) are both highly-strung to the point of being...eh, out of string while a dodgy ticker means Gordy's 75th is expected to be his last. Just as you think proceedings are about to descend into the touchy-feely, along comes a high-risk twist that threatens to derail the entire experience but ultimately succeeds in elevating it into the realm of the memorable.
There are flaws, but an abundance of quality one-liners and exceptional casting ensure the end product is as close to fab as makes no difference.