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Laramie Movie Scope:
Life's a Breeze

Irish-Swedish comedy about a dysfunctional family

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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December 15, 2014 -- This comedy is centered around a treasure hunt, but it is more about the goings on in a dysfunctional extended family. Emma (played by Kelly Thornton) is assigned the task of distracting her grandmother, Nan (Fionnula Flanagan of “The Invention of Lying”) while the rest of the family secretly cleans up her cluttered house, also giving her a new bed, table, appliances and other gifts.

When Nan gets home, she is quite upset that her old mattress is gone. That is where she secretly kept all her money, nearly one million euros. The mattress supposedly ended up at a recycling center, or a landfill. But nobody really knows where the mattress ended up. The man hired to haul away the trash is not exactly trustworthy, angling for his own reward. After a lot of searching, the word spreads that there is a valuable mattress somewhere around Dublin, perhaps in a landfill.

Nan's slacker son, Colm (Pat Shortt of “Calvary”) offers a reward of 50,000 Euros for the mattress, without consulting the rest of the family first. This brings out crowds of people scouring the landfills around Dublin. Nan worries that someone will find the mattress and steal her life savings. Then someone does find the mattress, but claims there is only 600 Euros in it. Colm and others in the family suspect Nan is becoming senile in her old age (she's 79) and that she didn't have as much money in the mattress as she thought she did. They start planning to put her in a retirement home.

Only Emma believes her about the money in the mattress. Did the man who found the mattress steal most of the money and only claim to have found 600 Euros in it, or is there more to the story? Emma and Nan set out on their own quest to find the rest of her missing fortune, while the rest of the family starts making plans to put crazy old Nan away.

The star of this show is Nan, played by Fionnula Flanagan, an Emmy Award-winning actress who has had a very long and successful career in movies, television and theater, dating back to the mid-1960s. Her wrathful gaze in one scene with Emma shows the fire in an old woman whose intelligence and determination are often underestimated. Kelly Thornton and Pat Shortt are also very effective in this film. Shortt is very good at playing the none-too-bright slacker, Colm.

One scene that doesn't ring true is when Nan participates in an elaborate prank on Colm that turns out to be a bit too cruel. Colm is a complicated character. He's lazy, needy and greedy, but his heart is in the right place. He wants to do the right thing, but never seems to manage it.

Despite the occasional emotional overtones, this is really a very light and enjoyable comedy. It rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2014 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)