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Diss reels in feelgood drama comedy Fisherman's Friends

PUBLISHED: 13:37 12 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 12 August 2019

Fisherman’s Friends. Picture: Entertainment Film Distributors

Fisherman's Friends. Picture: Entertainment Film Distributors

Entertainment Film Distributors

The latest British Full Monty wannabe is a totally made up true story about how some Cornish fishermen singing sea shanties became pop stars.

Fisherman’s Friends. Picture: Entertainment Film DistributorsFisherman’s Friends. Picture: Entertainment Film Distributors

Scripted by Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard and Piers Ashworth, it takes considerable artistic licence with the remarkable rise of eight men from Port Isaac in Cornwall, who signed a record deal in 2010 and became the first traditional folk act to land a top 10 album in the UK charts.

Its tale is told in a narrative full of all the standard plot contrivances British cinema applies to its output of romcoms and plucky underdog tales.

There's the pub which is going bankrupt, even though it is always packed with heavy drinkers, that is threatened by unscrupulous outside developers, and the unspoilt, local love interest (Tuppence Middleton) who initially despises her out-of-towner suitor (Daniel May.)

Fisherman’s Friends. Picture: Entertainment Film DistributorsFisherman’s Friends. Picture: Entertainment Film Distributors

It's like Local Hero written by a committee and yet, the cast almost make it work. Granted, the usual top-notch May doesn't really work in the lead role, but all those playing locals are splendid and even the Cornish accents are almost convincing.

Both Tuppence and James Purefoy, as the fishermen's leader, who has a gritty antagonism while delivering the humour, are exceptional.

This could easily be her breakout role. Maybe she'll lending a bit of class to a Star Wars or Marvel ensemble in a few years time.

You need to feel overly indulgent to enjoy this true-life story of musical success against the odds from director Chris Foggin, but these performers are perhaps worth indulging.

One of the best things about the feelgood fish-out-of-water drama comedy is the appeal of the music that is authentic and totally without contrivance.

- Fisherman's Friends (12A) screens at Diss Corn Hall on August 14, 10.30am and 7.30pm, 01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk

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