Romantic comedies can be rocky too, and in Wild Mountain Time, the darkness is right on top of any romance that settles in. Written for the screen and directed by John Patrick Shanley, the film is based on his play Outside Mullingar. The film stars Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan as our romantic duo Rosemary Muldoon and Anthony Reilly. Wild Mountain Thyme also stars Jon Hamm, Dearbhla Molloy, and Christopher Walken.
Focused on a couple seemingly destined to be together in the Irish Countryside, Wild Mountain Thyme follows the diametrically opposed yet drawn to each other, Rosemary and Anthony. Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt) is a headstrong farmer who has her heart set on winning her neighbor Anthony Reilly’s love – and his farm. But there is a problem, Anthony (Jamie Dornan) seems to have inherited a family curse and remains oblivious to his beautiful admirer, carrying with him a ridiculous burden. Stung by his father Tony’s (Christopher Walken) plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm), Anthony is jolted into pursuing his dreams. And as the two come together, who they think they are on the inside make for a confusing but warm story.
To say that Wild Mountain Thyme is a weird movie is an understatement. From a score that changed from deep drama bass-heavy orchestra to light and airy rom-com that mirrors the serious dialogue and dark humor that’s cut by cows coughing in the background, and two cranky leads that won’t kiss no matter how much you and the story wants them to. Describing the film is hard, and at best dark romantic comedy is the easiest thing I can come up with. Tonally, the film doesn’t quite know where it lands, but that seems to be by design. The juxtaposition of romance and depression and swan lake references and cow jokes; it all just hits up against each other. That said, the characters somehow make it a mess that you have to keep watching.
In the most romantic scene between the two people we should want to be together, Rosemary details how she constantly thinks of killing herself and even shows Anthony the shotgun she plans to do with it. “Why would you want to smell the cows on me when you could smell the lilies on him” is clearly a line fit for a rom-com but following a straightforward conversation about suicide is just off?
To be honest, reviewing Wild Mountain Thyme isn’t the easiest process because nothing about the dialogue or the progression of events makes sense. But like Walken’s horrible kind of Irish accent, it wasn’t actually bad. Sure, I don’t know what I just watched when it comes to the story, but the story’s eccentricity and the behavior of the characters are pleasant because of the actors who bring this bonkers play to the screen. On their own, they are each interesting and have the charisma that when they come together in all their off-kilter conversations, it is bad but so bad that you can’t really look away.
From Christopher Walken opening Wild Mountain Thyme as a seemingly dead narrator who then doesn’t really narrate anything to a “shocking revelation” of a secret that has driven other women away from Anthony, this film is confusing. That said, for some reason, it’s also a film that I didn’t want to turn off. Some movies make you tap out after the first act, and then there are bad movies you watch with friends on Zoom Call and play a drinking game with them. Wild Mountain Thyme is the latter. While it’s far from a good movie, its absurdity under the guise of drama and romantic comedy tropes wrapped with bad Irish accents, it’s a good time – well, it could be if you go in expecting a mess.
Wild Mountain Thyme releases in theaters and on-demand December 11th, 2020.
Wild Mountain Thyme
- Rating - 4/104/10
There are movies that make you tap out after the first act, and then there are bad movies you watch with friends on Zoom Call and play a drinking game with them. Wild Mountain Thyme is the latter. While it’s far from a good movie, its absurdity under the guise of drama and romantic comedy tropes wrapped with bad Irish accents, it’s good time – well it could be if you go in expecting a mess.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.