Upon watching the trailer for this, I decided that I really wanted to take a look at it. It seemed like a pretty untypical and upbeat comedy about friendships and comradery, and the beautiful scenery was enough to pull me in. Here we have one of those films that I feel can be described as "nice". It's just that simple, feel-good slice of life kind of story, where the biggest dramatic moments don't seem all that dramatic. A "Sunday Afternoon" movie, if you will.
London music executive, Danny (Daniel Mays) heads to the remote fishing village of Port Isaac, Cornwall, for his colleague, Henry's (Christian Brassington) stag weekend. There, his boss, Troy (Noel Clarke), pranks him into approaching a group sea shanty singing fishermen; Jim (James Purefoy), Jago (David Hayman), Leadville (Dave Johns) and Rowan (Sam Swainsbury). They're a group of very likable men with life experience, and when they get singing, you can't help but get into it.
Without realizing that he was being pranked the whole time, Danny gives the group his word that he can make them successful - his word meaning a hell of a lot around this town. The group, however, values their friendships, their community, and the living they make as fisherman far over fame and fortune, so it will take some convincing on Danny's part. However, soon enough, Danny finds a charm about the town's community, and simple lives in comparison to his own. He grows especially fond of Jim's daughter, Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton), and it's enough to make him re-evaluate his fast lifestyle altogether.
There's not a whole hell of a lot to criticize about this movie. Really, it's just a nice, subtle romantic story that goes on while most of the Fisherman's Friends stuff is a bit more of a background thing. That may be my only real criticism here; it's another film whose title isn't really what it's all about. Kinda like with 'Inglorious Basterds', I came into it wanting a bit more of the film's namesake than I actually got. But it's still a perfectly good film.
I think what really sells it, for myself, is a mixture of the likable fisherman who make up the group, and the scenery of the small village. It looks like the kind of place I'd see one day and decide "I want to retire right here". It's just so mpleasant and pretty, and reminded me a lot of my trip to UK I took a couple of years ago, where I saw several places like it. If you're living in Canada, one might compare it to the smaller fishing towns of Nova Scotia. If there's nothing else to like about the film, it's beautifully shot on location in Port Isaac, Cornwall.
I can't honestly think of much more to say about this one. I wouldn't by any means consider it a Top 10 title for the year of 2020, but I can recommend it to anyone looking for something a little more upbeat and simple. It provides a nice escape from these hard times, you get to know and like most of the characters, and it's not trying all too hard to be anything more than what it is. So by all means, on your next day off, grab yourself a pint or two, sit, and enjoy one of the simpler pleasures of movie titles floating around out there right now.