If yesterday’s entry, Love Actually found me conflicted over my feelings about Richard Curtis as a filmmaker, then his directorial follow-up The Boat That Rocked did little to help resolve those conflicts.
The Boat That Rocked is a ‘sort-of’ love letter to the pirate radio stations of the 1960s. I wasn’t alive then, so have no recollection of the time when popular music was not allowed to be played on the BBC, and teenagers had to get their fix by tuning in to illegal radio transmissions by the likes of Radio Caroline, which was, quite literally, broadcast from a boat.
Presumably a boat that rocked.
My mum remembers it. But she listened to Radio Luxembourg. Which kind of did the same thing. But wasn’t on a boat so much as in a country.
Presumably a country that rocked.
And was called Luxembourg.
The radio station in The Boat That Rocked is not Radio Caroline. It’s a fictional radio station called Radio Rock. But it is, one imagines, essentially supposed to be Radio Caroline.
The Boat That Rocked (apparently known by the much less satisfying title of Pirate Radio outside of the UK) is quite typical of Curtis’ ouevre insofar as privileged bumbling British people make up, if not all, then certainly the majority of the characters. Also, while it’s generally conventional for a Richard Curtis film to have one character who is a bit more stupid than everyone else, that character in this film is just a bit too stupid.
It’s ultimately a ‘not-great’ film with some ‘still-pretty-great’ bits. The cast, as with Love Actually, is nothing short of stellar. And they’re all fine.
But some of them are phoning it in a bit.
Score for Christmasishness
Not really a Christmas movie, but the big day does feature (and there is a juxtaposition of the Christmas dinners of the ‘groovy people’ on the boat and the ‘straights’ who are trying to shut them down). Also the denoument of the narrative appears to be around New Year.
So sort of Christmas(ish).
But not very.