COMFORT AND JOY (director/writer: Bill Forsyth; cinematographer: Chris Menges; editor: Michael Ellis; music: Mark Knopfler; cast: Bill Paterson (Alan ‘Dicky’ Bird), Eleanor David (Maddy), C.P. Grogan (Charlotte ), Patrick Malahide(Colin), Alex Norton (Trevor), Roberto Bernardi (Mr McCool), George Rossi (Bruno), Ricky Fulton (Hilary); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Davina Belling/Clive Parsons; Universal Studios Home Video; 1984-UK)
“A quirky comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Scottish writer-director Bill Forsyth (“Local Hero”/”Being Human”/”Gregory’s Girl”) creates a quirky comedy about popular local early-morning Glasgow radio DJ, Alan ‘Dicky’ Bird (Bill Patterson), and his travails about finding a soul mate. Alan is depressed during Christmas time when his live-in shoplifter girlfriend Maddy (Eleanor David) leaves him and takes with her the apartment furniture. Life now seems meaningless to the DJ, until he gets involved as a mediator in an ice cream war over territory between Mr McCool and Mr Bunny. Both are part of the Scottish Mafia and are involved in vandalizing each other’s ice cream trucks.
The pic loses much of its comedy as it seriously explores how someone suffering a great loss can once again find meaning in life, as the director searches for a more profound comedy. The Dicky Bird regains self-esteem by taking himself seriously (perhaps like the director), but the station boss (Ricky Fulton) thinks this change in his DJ’s personality means he is going crazy and asks the lawyers if there’s a sanity clause in the contract.
It’s not top-shelf Forsyth, but it’s whimsical and endearing. The sympathetic Patterson carries the pic.
REVIEWED ON 3/22/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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