After a ridiculous drunken bet comedian Tony Hawks finds himself travelling round Ireland with a fridge. Can he complete this bizarre task? And what will happen along the way?
Reviewing films can be tough, sometimes you have to be ruthless, sometimes a film is so bad that there is no other possible option and Round Ireland with a Fridge is such a film. What makes it all the harder is that comedian and writer Tony Hawks is an inherently likeable fellow, anyone who has seen him perform or read his books will find him endearing and gently humorous. So what on earth went wrong here?
This adaptation of his first book is a resolutely uncinematic, pointless movie that takes an enjoyable leisurely paced tome and turns it into a trite bland film that feels like it was hastily cobbled together over a couple of days. For most of its running time it repeatedly finds our hero meeting bemused twee Irish folk who proffer their astonishment at his challenge, which soon wears very thin on the poor viewer. Other than that we have such comedic highlights as people falling over and Hawks’ disinterestedly delivered sarcastic responses to the locals. The whole thing has such a distinct lack of comic timing that it’s hard to believe Ed Bye, who plied his trade in numerous BBC comedies, is the man saddled with directing this ineptly scripted effort. At least the direction matches the script, as do the supporting cast who all come across as if they’re doing this as a favour to a mate while waiting for something better to come along.
Even Hawks doesn’t come across well, his likeable personality transformed into an annoying arrogant persona. Unlike in the book Hawks is here presented as someone who’s rather surly with the people he meets until of course he is won over by the landscape and the locals. Which means a collection of interminable shots of clichéd Irish scenery peppered with characters that are equally stereotypical. Let’s also not forget the addition of a love interest in a heavy handed attempt to arouse audience interest that merely highlights how badly written the whole thing is. In fact the narrative pretty much contradicts the source material, which is all about the pleasure of new experiences and meeting new people rather than just being miserable until an attractive woman turns up.
Round Ireland with a Fridge is a failure on every possible level which must be some kind of accomplishment. For those that relished the book there is absolutely nothing here to recommend and those who have yet to enjoy Tony Hawks’ enjoyable tale are advised to walk past the cinema and instead pop into their local bookshop.