Clever and funny, Alan Partridge is an entertaining comedy.
Which is a good thing, because the characters are not well developed, the plot is simplistic and director Decian Lowney and the film’s four credited writers, star Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge) amongst them, do not even attempt to channel emotion.
The above is only a flaw insofar as it means Alan Partridge does not resonate.
It still accomplishes its objectives, primarily because its intent is modest. This picture wants to make the audience laugh, while introducing some viewers to a well known character at the same time it treats fans to a raucous (mis)adventure.
Despite few truly laugh-out-loud moments, it does just that.
Lowney deserves some of the credit for Alan Partridge’s success, partially because he gives Cooganspace to own the character, but mostly because the director’s comedic instincts are terrific. He holds moments exactly as long as he ought before cutting away. He also frames shots precisely. When humor is best served by close ups of Coogan’s exaggerated facial expressions, Lowney delivers them. When a wider angle is wisest, Lowney uses it. And so on.
The writers, who sprinkle the movie with many quotable witticisms, deserve some credit, as well.
But most of the accolades should be directed at the cast, especially Coogan. It is no wonder that this character launched the actor’s career.
Felicity Montagu (Lynn Benfield), Colm Meaney (Pat Farell) and Monica Dolan (Angela Ashbourne) shine, too.
While thinly sketched characters and a simplistic plot with minimal thematic intent prevent Alan Partridge from transcending genre, the movieis still exceptionally fun.