The O'Briens
1.6Overall Score

Does making a film with a completely limited budget give it a ‘free pass’ if it doesn’t turn out well? Of course it doesn’t. Creating a good story doesn’t cost anything. So what makes The O’Briens such a poor film?”

For starters, for a film to have such a poor quality of sound is something that will no doubt leave you feeling annoyed at what is already a poor, poor script. Some poor choices of music when in fact no music is need at all, a terrible echo in the main location that is so amateur it’s not even funny and to cap it off some terrible dubbing.

The story is a simple one, a family reunion that goes wrong with the big reveal of some news that not everyone is happy with. It’s filled with classic chunks of Irish life; the GAA match, the piss up in the pub, the divil of a brother bringing home the girl with the oh so short skirt. It also deals with a few more up to date versions of Ireland which include homosexuality and the economic crisis. All of these tie into what is supposed to be the main arc of the story which involves the families dad (Tommy O’Neill) as he announces he is newly engaged following the death of his wife whose two years dead. This is obviously news that doesn’t go down well with some of the family.

So what is it that goes so horribly wrong? Many, many things unfortunately. A weak cast doesn’t help this film in anyway. A few shining lights give it something to give it some credit, Kellie Blaise’s and Liam McMahon’s performance as the two will they or won’t they get together character works brilliantly and Blaise is certainly someone to look out for. The other couple in the film; Slaine Kelly and Lochlann O’Mearain don’t have such a good time as their counterparts here. They go from pretty much despising each other, with O’Mearain on the cusp of losing his home; to living in O’Neill’s house and becoming an overtly sexual force that just doesn’t make sense whatsoever.

Above everything else that makes this film so poor, the fact that you leave thinking what the hell was this film actually about in the first place says something. We think that it’s really about this family’s father and his new love but towards the end we get the impression that it’s suddenly all about Emmet Hughes and the big reveal as the family finds out for the first time that someone so close to them is actually gay.

The O’Briens is sloppily put together with some bright lights that raises this film from an atrocious film to just about a pretty bad one. Don’t go rushing out to get this DVD for the Christmas stocking.

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