Patrick

 

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Mandie Fletcher’s Brit romcom about a woman and her dog is a lame pup.

 

 Patrick

Poor pooch: Patrick the pug

 

There’s usually a saving grace in any film involving animals –and that’s the animals. In Patrick, the eponymous one is a dog, a pug, a breed not known for its beauty or charm. However, it has to be said that this plug-ugly mutt of a pug is funnier than the rest of the cast put together. When Sarah (Beattie Edmondson) is left Patrick in her grandmother’s will, she is horrified because she hates the beasts. However, she tries to make the best of it but Patrick, nothing if not active, just won’t play ball. Left alone he is liable to wreck the place and as Sarah lives in a no-pets allowed apartment, life becomes intolerable.

 

Starting a new job as a teacher, Sarah also has to contend with her new deputy head (Adrian Scarborough) who has taken an instant dislike to her. The film then falls apart into two sections, the first being the antics of Patrick and his subsequent disappearance, and the second being Sarah’s promises to run a five-kilometre sponsored run. Neither of the two storylines really hangs together. There’s also another plot concerning Sarah having a romantic meeting with the father of one of her pupils. All these unwieldy tales never get tied together satisfactorily.

 

Even with a trio of authors, the comic writing is not funny enough to sustain the screenplay and, although the best bits are those concerning the pugnacious pug, there again there’s not enough of them. There’s also a tendency for some of the cast to overact outrageously. The whole thing lacks the true craziness of, say, Howard Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby and in so being wastes a lot of British comic talent – Jennifer Saunders, Peter Davison, Adrian Scarborough, Bernard Cribbins, Roy Hudd, Meera Syal et al. The film is nicely shot by Chris Goodyear around Chiswick, Richmond and Windsor, and the weather is sunny throughout.

 

MICHAEL DARVELL

 

Cast: Beattie Edmondson, Ed Skrein, Tom Bennett, Emily Atack, Jennifer Saunders, Adrian Scarborough, Emilia Jones, Gemma Jones, Cherie Lunghi, Peter Davison, Bernard Cribbins, Meera Syal, Roy Hudd.

 

Dir Mandie Fletcher, Pro Vanessa Davies, Paul de Vos, Sue Latimer and James Spring, Screenplay Vanessa Davies, Mandie Fletcher and Paul de Vos, Ph Chris Goodyear, Pro Des Harry Banks, Ed Matthew Tucker, Music Michael Price, Songs Amy Macdonald, Costumes Jenny Beavan.

 

Wagging Tail Productions/BondIt/Fred Films/Head Gear Films/Metro Technology-Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

94 mins. UK. 2018. Rel: 29 June 2018. Cert. PG.