Wild Mountain Thyme is a star-studded affair with a lot of expectations to live up to and unfortunately, the film falls just a bit short.
Following a brief prologue, the film jumps to its present day. This is where we meet Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt) as an adult. She is crushing on her neighbor Anthony Reilly (Jamie Dornan) and wants to win his heart. In classic cinematic tradition, Anthony has no idea that Rosemary is crushing on him. Meanwhile, Anthony’s dad, Tony (Christopher Walken), makes his plans known to sell the family farm to American nephew Adam (Jon Hamm). As you can imagine, this piece of news comes as a complete shock. Obviously, it will not be sitting well with Anthony at all. Anthony took it for granted that the farm would be passed down to his hands. Obviously, his dad has something else in mind.
Rosemary has been in love with Anthony since they were children living in the Irish countryside. Call it a cinematic trope or whatever but Anthony just doesn’t see this. Combine this and Adam coming over from the States, Anthony must get his foot on the metal so to speak. There’s a love triangle here because of course, there is.
When a film comes from the filmmaker behind Moonstruck and Doubt, it means there are heavy expectations upon arrival. Throw in the cast of the film and you can imagine my dismay when I left the film feeling that it was just okay. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with a film being just okay. But with a film of this pedigree, I suppose it is more surprising than anything else. It’s unfortunate, too, because I like Emily Blunt and Jon Hamm! I do think that quarantine does bring about something in knowing which films play better at home and which in a theater. Watching in a theater might bring about a different experience–no doubt about it. In viewing the film at home, I didn’t feel myself connecting to the film at all.
You might disagree with me and that’s fine. Nobody says that everyone needs to be in agreement one-hundred-percent of the time. When it comes to film, disagreement is healthy (except when it comes to certain casting practices but that’s a different matter). I don’t know if Bleecker Street will be giving Wild Mountain Thyme an awards push. Given Shanley’s prior background, a push would not surprise me. My feelings on the film not withstanding, I’d be happy if it’s able to find an audience in a sea of a gazillion other things to watch. It didn’t personally connect with me but to each their own. Granted, this could deal with watching at home rather than a movie theater.
Despite its pedigree, Wild Mountain Thyme leaves one with feelings of wanting more. A lot more.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: John Patrick Stanley
CAST: Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Christopher Walken, Jon Hamm, and Dearbhla Molloy