Writer-director Mick Davis’s pleasant but extremely mild 1999 contemporary British sports romantic comedy is set in Inverdoune, an idyllic village nestling in the pretty Scots Highlands. Max Beesley plays Wullie Smith, the local milkman besotted with both football and a girl, Rosemary Bailey (Laura Fraser), the daughter of the cow farmer, Billy Bailey (James Cosmo).
A bet made 100 years ago between the original owners of the village’s two bars is to be resolved by the result of the 100th annual football match between the patrons of the bars. Benny’s Bar, owned by Big Tam (Ian Holm) has suffered 99 defeats so far at the hands (or feet) of L’Bistro, owned by a narcissist called Gorgeous George Gus (Richard E Grant). How can Benny’s boys save the day?
This just passable film is old-fashioned and terribly predictable, but not altogether unappealing, held together by a pleasing performance by Beesley. The acting from an extremely good ensemble cast is surprisingly very moderate, with most of the players trying for engagingly quirky and just being irritatingly quirky. The accents of the non-Scots actors are variable – varying from South Africa to South London via Southern Ireland.
There are cameos from co-producer Pierce Brosnan and soccer star Alan Shearer. Also in the cast are Isla Blair, David Hayman, Neil Morrissey, Tom Sizemore, David O’Hara, Bill Paterson, Andy Gray, Gary Lewis, Gary McCormack, Mark O’Hare, Jonathan Watson, Samantha Fox, Iain Robertson and Paul Doonan.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 3564
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