Review – GET UP AND GO

get-up-and-go

Starring: Peter Coonan, Killian Scott, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Sara Lloyd-Gregory, Emma Eliza-Regan and Sarah McCall.
Written and Directed by: Brendan Grant
Cert: 15A Running Time: 98 minutes
Release Date: May 1st 2015

Writer-Director Brendan Grant’s Get Up and Go, pairing Love/Hate alumni Peter Coonan and Killian Scott is an enjoyable if sometimes uneven, home-grown comedy drama. The story follows one day in the lives of frustrated musician Alex (Coonan), who has long dreamt of a move to London and his friend Coilin (Killian Scott) a dreamer hoping to break into the stand-up comedy circuit in Dublin. When his girlfriend Sinead (Sarah McCall) tells him she’s pregnant Alex panics and fast-tracks his London plans, hoping to borrow the fare from Coilin, but Coilin has problems of his own. He’s just lost his job and he’s become obsessed with Lola (Gemma-Leah Devereux) a girl who barely registers his existence.

It’s a wry and often funny look at how we deal with life’s ups and downs. While Alex lets his head rule, Coilin lets his heart, and Grant’s look at twenty-something life isn’t afraid to expose his leads for their moral shortcomings. He’s keen to put his characters in those situations and see what happens. It gives a free-wheeling, anything can happen feel to the film which is fun to watch.

Despite being a lousy boyfriend and a selfish friend, Alex still remains strangely likeable thanks to a solid performance from Coonan. He brings charm to his rogue even when asking his expectant girlfriend for a loan so he can abandon her. He also has no boundaries, finding a kindred spirit in his girlfriend’s sister who just also happens to be the object of Coilin’s desire.

Alex has buckets of ‘get up and go’ while Coilin has barely any and herein lies the difficulty. Coilin’s sleepy slacker is not nearly as likeable or engaging. Perhaps he is supposed to be a lost sheep but he is also just plain weird and you can see why Lola would keep her distance. He’s disconnected and aloof, making him appear a bit of an oddball. The script also is not as kind to him and he is saddled with dialogue which sometimes doesn’t hit the mark.

The supporting cast do a good job particularly Welsh actress Sarah Lloyd-Gregory, who plays the flirty Ella, a former work colleague of Alex’s from the local multiplex. When Alex tries to fix her up with Coilin she proves a sparky match for Coilin’s laid back introvert.

With Dublin as its backdrop, it’s telling that the two men’s lives are on the skids and there are shots of skeletal half-finished buildings reminding us that the city’s dreams also lie in tatters after the fallout from the boom. That said, Dublin at times looks beautiful as the camera hops around the cobbled streets and riverscapes of the capital.

The soundtrack is peppered with great music from the likes of Villagers, Jape and Adrian Crowley, and also Coonan himself, surprising with his husky tones when he takes to the stage.

***

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