Williams plays Abbie, a schoolgirl living with her mother (Kerry Condon) and stepfather, the authoritarian fitness freak, Frank (James Nesbitt). All three of their lives suddenly take a turn for the worse when the youngster’s estranged father, the hapless Ray (David Wilmot) suddenly turns up from out of the blue, hoping to reconnect with his family and be the father figure he never was. While at first the very sight of him frustrates Abbie, the pair soon start spending a bit of time together and realising there may just be a (belated) relationship between them yet.
Much like other Irish comedies released in the past year such as The Stag or Life’s a Breeze, there’s a real warmth to this production, as Heery displays a real aptitude for combining a surrealistic wit, with pathos, and compassion. That being said, the comedy can feel somewhat contrived in parts, such as Frank’s motivational video. It’s funny, granted, but very obvious and unsubtle in its conviction. Just knowing he made one is funny enough, we don’t actually need to see it.
Gold works, predominantly, thanks to the nuanced character of Ray, who remains a somewhat tragic, volatile protagonist. He’s endearingly pathetic, and trouble just seems to follow him round, in spite of his earnest, sincere intentions. Wilmot turns in one of many accomplished performances, another of which comes from Steven Mackintosh, playing one of Abbie’s running coaches, Gerry.
In spite of the amiable atmosphere in this easy to indulge in feature – unfortunately it may well go the same way as other aforementioned pictures like The Stag and Life’s a Breeze – and just be one of those films that sadly fades away into obscurity. A shame, but it’s just one of those pictures you never truly give a second thought to, but then again, never quite forget you saw.