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Fisherman’s Friends

All Areas > Entertainment > Film Review

Author: Joe Kennett, Posted: Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 09:00

I’m taken back to my childhood, with summers spent in Cornwall and visiting Port Isaac to recognise one of the houses as Doc Martin’s Cornish home and practice.

Now, the seaside town holds a new legacy as the home of the ‘Fisherman’s Friends’. This true story about a band of shanty singing fishermen are sure to warm your heart with the best feel-good film cinemas have seen this year.

Daniel Mays stars as Danny, a music executive with a fast lifestyle, who is pranked on a colleague’s stag weekend into signing the Fisherman’s Friends for a big record label.

He’s then left in Cornwall until he gets them signed, and bonds with the tight-knit, ale-drinking, shanty-singing community in Port Isaac.

However, getting a big London record label to pick up the Friends is a push, even for big-time exec Danny. Oh, and there’s a cheesy romantic sideplot (would it be a feel-good film without it?) as well for Danny and one of the Friends’ daughter Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton).

James Purefoy, David Hayman, Noel Clarke, Sam Swainsbury and Dave Johns comprise the main cast, and play off one another quite effortlessly. Clarke’s American accent can be, at times, questionable, but the chemistry between the Friends is undeniable.

The group are the best of friends, and the actors communicate it brilliantly. A scene in a London pub where the entire band coerce Londoners into singing ‘Drunken Sailor’ while sinking pint after pint (in disbelief of the price of beer outside of Cornwall) could crack a smile from anyone, and made me contemplate getting up and joining in at the cinema myself.

All of the original band members have cameos in the film as well as working as consultants, giving the flick great authenticity, and the humour isn’t forced – this band of fishermen are genuinely as hilarious as the concept initially sounds in the first place.

These are real small-town men with insane talent that we don’t appreciate enough today. The film is the recognition they so desperately deserve.

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