Irish novelist John Butler makes his feature-film directing debut with this hilarious and heartwarming comedy, in which a bachelor party weekend in the great outdoors takes some unexpected detours.
No one makes a less likely candidate for a wild stag party than Fionnan (Hugh O'Conor), a set designer so comfortable in his masculinity that he feels no shame in micromanaging the decor for his forthcoming wedding. But his adoring fiancée, Ruth (Amy Huberman), feels that Fionnan really needs to cut loose in one last bachelor's celebration with his mates. She recruits Davin (Andrew Scott), Fionnan's best friendand her exto make the arrangements. They decide to go on a camping trip, but what promises to be a leisurely weekend of fresh air and some hiking is about to get a major dose of testosterone, when The Machine (Peter McDonald), Ruth's notoriously obnoxious brother, decides to tag along.
At once ribald and heartwarming, this thoughtful comedy asks whether the film's titular ritual still has any meaning in an age of sensitive men who talk about feelings and wear penguin-print sweaters. Finely textured performances and the beauty of the Irish countryside combine with Butler's assured direction, culminating in a fun, hilarious and ultimately very moving experience.
Directed by John Butler, Ireland, 2013, 94 mins.Irish Times TimeOut London