What We Did on Our Holiday  (2014)    77/100

Rating :   77/100                                                                       95 Min        12A

Based on the successful TV show ‘Outnumbered’, which began in 2007 and aired its final episode this year, writers and directors Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin have adapted their take on dysfunctional family life for the big screen, as we follow the comedic and fundamental misadventure of the McLeods visiting their patriarchal roots in the highlands of Scotland for their summer vacation. Ad-libbing featured prominently in the show (the adults having scripted lines and the kids just being handed rough notes on the day) and it certainly looks like they have kept true to this spirit as the three young children (played by Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge and Harriet Turnbull) easily steal the show, especially the youngest Jess (Turnbull), as we watch them behave in a believably childlike way but also show signs of maturity and understanding that seem to exceed those of their bickering and possibly soon to be divorced parents (David Tenant and Rosamund Pike). Billy Connolly plays the terminally sick grandfather and he is his usual wonderful self – he was also recently on tour in Scotland and performed solo on stage for two and a half hours without a single break – impressive for anyone never mind someone in their early seventies with advanced Parkinson’s, something which he relished making fun of too. There’s a nice warmth to this film and, most importantly, it is genuinely very funny, and it ought to be a reasonably safe bet to please the entire family with.

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