(2019) 112 mins
They’re funny, they look the part and they are singing copyright-free songs.
That, one city slicker music business executive on a stag weekend in Cornwall decides, makes it worthwhile signing up the group of Port Isaac fishermen in chunky jumpers who sing shanty songs by the shore.
Fisherman’s Friends is a formulaic but thoroughly amiable and upbeat British comedy with a flavour of Ealing Studios and The Full Monty about it.
The plot which the screenwriters have cooked up seems almost an afterthought. The singing fishermen came first.
The Fisherman’s Friends really were signed by a major record label, had a top 10 hit, and turned into a full-blown media sensation.
The film takes considerable liberties with their story, but fans of extra mature Cornish cheddar won’t be complaining.
The Guardian: "Their singing is robustly and winningly performed, and the whole thing is heartfelt. Nice also to see Maggie Steed as the local pub’s landlady. It’s pretty goofy but fun." (3 stars)
The Independent: "The performances are very likeable indeed. Old timers like Dave Johns and David Hayman squeeze every last bit of humour and pathos from their roles as the singing sea dogs." (3 stars)
Folk Radio: "It’s as heartwarming and wholesome as a pasty on a drizzly day in Port Isaac. And it may well take the country by storm just like the shanty men who inspired the tale."