From the team that brought us the TV series Outnumbered comes What We Did on Our Holiday. If you've never seen Outnumbered the idea was that the adult characters' had a script to work from whereas the young actors were allowed to improvise

The one problem with What We Did on Our Holidays is that it feels as if it would have been bettered suited to a one hour TV program. It's at about the one hour mark that the threads begin to unravel with a ending that try's its best to be a farcical but just feels tacked on and ridiculous. That's not to say the first hours not ridiculous, it is meant to be a comedy after all.

The story sees Scotsman Doug McLeon (David Tennant) and his English wife Abi (Rosamund Pike) traveling to the Highlands to be with Doug's family. The problem the couple have is that they are in the process of divorcing after Doug had an extramarital affair and can't stand to be in each other's company for more that five minutes. So off they go, their three kids in tow, there's 11-year-old Lottie (Emilia Jones), who keeps a notebook so she can remember which lies she is supposed to tell, there's six-year-old Mickey (Bobby Smalldridge), who is obsessed with Vikings and five-year-old Jess (Harriet Turnbull), whose best friends are two rocks she's called Eric and Norman.

The reason for their journey is that it's Doug's father Gordy's(Billy Connolly) birthday and a party has been arranged for him. The big downer is that Gordy has recently been diagnosed with cancer and has not been given much time to live. So as not to upset Gordy, Doug and Abi decide not to burden him with their matrimonial problems and swear the children to secrecy. When they do arrive it's the adults that act like children leaving the children to take on the adult’s role. Connolly is excellent as Gordy and is the only adult that appears to have any sense. Holiday is without doubt Connolly's film and his scenes with the three children are natural and touching.

What We Did on Our Holiday is funny, moving and entertaining with standout performances from the three children and Billy Connolly.Take away the last half hour and it would have been perfect

 

 What We Did On Our Holiday (12A)


Director: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkins
Starring: David Tennant, Rosamund Pike, Billy Connolly, Ben Miller, Amelia Bullmore, Celia Imrie, Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge, Harriet Turnbull

UK Release: Friday 26th September 2014

bbc.co.uk