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427. Patrick; movie review

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Title : 427. Patrick; movie review
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Cert PG
92 mins
BBFC advice: Contains mild bad language

It must be at least a month since I last watched a movie starring a dog, so it was high time I caught up with Mandie Fletcher's Patrick.
I had seen a clip of the film during Graham Norton's interview with its star, Beattie Edmondson, before its cinema release.
It didn't look good and I am afraid the worse fears of Mrs W and me were confirmed when we watched it on Virgin On Demand.
The film hangs on the relationship between a Bridget Jones-type (the film even stars Gemma Jones who played Bridget's mum) and a cute but not always well-behaved pug.
The problem is that Edmondson ain't no Renee Zellweger.
Sure, she has a bit of a go at pulling funny faces and seeming to be super harrassed but she simply doesn't tickle the funny bone.
And even Patrick's antics didn't elicit any reaction from Mrs W nor me - possibly because we have never had a dog or, more likely, because we have seen the like so many times before (Marley And Me set the benchmark).
The lack of laughs is surprising because Patrick's director, Mandie Fletcher, has had a stellar career in TV comedy.
However, she was also responsible for the awful Absolutely Fabulous film which was released two years ago so it seems that she doesn't have the same golden touch on the big screen.
Patrick's premise is that English teacher Sarah (Edmondson) is left her grandmother's beloved dog in her will.
This is far from a perfect match because Sarah is a dis-organised klutz and lives in an apartment where pets are not allowed.
Thus, the 'comedy' comes from her trying to conceal ownership of unruly mutt or palm him off on to scarcely willing friends and neighbours while she is at school.
Meanwhile, there are parallel lines which involve clumsy romances and Sarah trying to make her mark with her new pupils.
All have the possibilities for ribaldry but fail to spark.
Indeed, even a sprinkling of cameos by big names such as Edmondson's mum, Jennifer Saunders, Meera Syal, Bernard Cribbins, Roy Hudd, Peter Davidson and Cheri Lunghi cannot save Fletcher's film.

Reasons to watch: If you are addicted to cutesy dog films
Reasons to avoid: Not nearly funny enough

Laughs: One
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 3.5/10

Director quote - Mandie Fletcher: "Vanessa, the producer, has real Patrick at home! She’s got a pug called Patrick, so that’s what inspired the film. And then when we all got together (I have dogs as well) we pooled all our dog experience together."

The big question - Why was a director with the experience of Mandie Fletcher not able to sprinkle some Ab fab fairy dust?

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