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Laramie Movie Scope:
Alan Partridge

Humor for Brits only

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by Patrick Ivers, Film Critic
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(2014) Maybe because I'm not British but I didn't think this comedy directed by Declan Lowney (screenplay by Peter Baynham, Steve Coogan, Neil and Rob Gibbons, Armando Iannucci based on characters created by Baynham, Coogan, Iannucci, and Patrick Marber) was particularly funny. On Midmorning Matters for North Norfolk Digital Radio, DJ Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) says to his sidekick Simon (Tim Key): "Never, never criticize Muslims. Only, only Christians. And Jews a little bit."

At program's conclusion, fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) pops his head through the door to announce that the station's being taken over by Gordale Media. Alan, confident of his stature, says: "So?" He drives a car with advertising: "Alan Partridge drives this KIA."

At a board meeting, Alan begins a defense of Farrell until he realizes either he or Pat will get sacked. "Just sack Pat" is Alan's coda. To ameliorate his guilt, his assistant Lynn Benfield (Felicity Montagu) suggests, since Pat is Irish, a donation to Sinn Fein.

With a shotgun, Pat takes over the station along with holding hostages, including Jason Tresswell, (Nigel Lindsay), the head of Gordale Media. Police and Crime Commissioner Janet Whitehead (Anna Maxwell Martin) along with Scotland Yard agent Martin Finch (Darren Boyd) ask Alan if he'd be willing to be a go-between, since Farrell believes Partridge alone took his side.

Alan finds Simon wrapped in silver tape with a tubular handle attached to the headpiece for inserting the shotgun. Demanding that the hostages produce a jingle to be aired against Gordale Media in one hour or Tresswell will have his toes, knees, hands blasted off - "Basically, anything you've got two of" - Pat threatens, to which Alan pauses for a moment: "Oh, yeah, two-faced."

One of the hostages says he was the drummer for Marillion (British neo-progressive band formed in 1979 and still performing, though no one in the cast of characters or actual actors has the name Ian Mosley).

To Alan, Pat expresses his deep disappointment of having reached his late 50s without having much to show for it - no wife or children and now no career. Much the same might be said of Partridge, who's divorced, except for his egocentricity. He's making the most of becoming a celebrity during the siege.

When an opportunity presents itself to take possession of Pat's weapon, Alan loses his nerve while fantasizing about being heroic as Jason Statham, Jason Bourne, and Jason Argonaut. A video of Alan on a tether talking to the police becomes a bigger hit on Youtube than "Fat woman falls down a hole."

Romancing with hostage Angela Ashbourne (Monica Dolan) is followed by his getting caught on camera without his trousers, costing him some of his earlier popularity. In the yellow Norwich broadcasting van, Alan and Pat with Simon take the show on the road - leaving the hostages behind - until Pat realizes he's been duped all along by Alan. In an armed standoff, Alan holding an air rifle, Pat recalls that from this pier he scattered his wife Molly's ashes. "Like bin Laden," Alan remarks.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, 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 Patrick Ivers. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Patrick Ivers can be reached via e-mail at nora's email address at juno. [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)