Wild Mountain Thyme (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
JOHN Patrick Shanley, the Academy Award winning writer behind 1987's Moonstruck, trades his typewriter for a spot in the director's chair to adapt his 2014 Broadway play, Outside Mullingar, onto the big screen.
But does Shanley's acclaimed Irish farming love story translate as well with movie-goers as it did with theatre fans?
Set between two luscious farms in Ireland, Wild Mountain Thyme follows two farmers destined to be together: Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt), an emotionally unstable farm hand awaiting the love of her neighbour Anthony Reilly (Jamie Dornan).
The love of the two childhood friends appeared to be written in the stars, but when his father Tony (Christopher Walken) decides to sell the family farm to his American nephew Adam (Jon Hamm), Anthony must overcome his insecurities and fear of rejection in this charming, though ultimately flat, tale of devotion.
Any good romance movie needs to nail two components: writing and acting, and while the screenplay is passable, with Shanley doing his best to recreate the magic of his 2014 play, the miscast actors was where Wild Mountain Thyme begun to take a gradual descend for the worst.
Emily Blunt was easily the stand-out, proving what a hot commodity she is by showing glimpses of increasing depression as Anthony continues to linger his inevitable decision to say "yes". Jon Hamm also does a fine job, but through no fault of his own, manages to outshine Jamie Dornan in all the wrong ways.
Dornan has received criticism over the years, primarily for his leading roles in the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey films, but Wild Mountain Thyme was the Irish actor's opportunity to prove his naysayers wrong - and he didn't.
Despite being the lead character, Dornan's underwhelming and stale performance made me question what Emily Blunt's headstrong and far superior character would ever see in such a disinterested, bland protagonist, which made me hope at points that Rosemary would instead choose to be with Jon Hamm's Adam, who while not revolutionary, provided some form of satirical levity - even during the film's darker moments.
Aside from beautiful landscapes and the occasional laugh, Wild Mountain Thyme is as about as generic as you can get. The film manages to create genuine moments of love towards the end through an incredibly-well structured scene between Dornan and Blunt, but when you have to endure 90 minutes of filler prior, the scales of quality just don't equate.