Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge

  • 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 Coogan space 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 movie is still exceptionally fun.
  • Final Grade: B
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33 thoughts on “Alan Partridge

  1. I recently gave all of the Alan Partridge series a re-watch and while the film doesn’t quite live up to the series in its prime it does a nice job of revisiting the character. Not as funny as it should be but I still found it a pretty enjoyable watch.

    • I haven’t ever seen the show, or had any exposure to the Partridge character, but I liked the film all around. Not laugh out funny, maybe, but still witty enough to be humorous, I think.

  2. Looks like something I’ll eventually watch. Not sure about the character and have never seen any of his prior stuff! It appears that laughs are all this will offer so I’ll make sure to go into it expecting only that!

  3. I enjoyed the film but as a huge fan of Partridge I felt the movie was trying to be too broad and ‘mainstream’. I would have liked it to be truer to the series but I understand how they wanted to appeal to a wider audience

    • I hadn’t heard of Partridge until I saw a few reviews of this movie. It’s funny, and I can see why the character made Coogan’s career. He is suitably over the top and funny.

  4. Glad you liked this one. Interesting thoughts on the character. I was particularly impressed with it given how hard I expected it to be to bring a character used to short, episodic television episodes (despite the stories not being sketch-based, they still had a sketch-like single-dimension to the comedy), into the feature-film arena. I thought the story held up well enough to give the character a dramatic arc to hold our attention while the typical character-based humor could flourish.

  5. I am a Brit and like Steve Coogan very much (24 Hour Party People is a classic of British cinema for me) but I just don’t get Alan partridge, I do not find him funny, simple as that. I just can not imagine people from other county’s getting it at all.

    • Fair enough. I can see how this character could be divisive. In fact, I’d be surprised if he weren’t.

      My exposure, as a United States citizen, to Allan Partridge is very small – being limited to this movie – but I enjoyed what I saw. Did I enjoy it enough to run out and see more of the character? Probably not, at least not while in any hurry. But I think the movie’s fun all the same.

  6. I’ve been a fan of Partridge since he first appeared on the radio. Coogan’s work on TV and radio in the 90s was excellent. I agree with the majority of your points and also think it ‘does the job’ but nothing more than that; sadly I think 30 minute comedy shows turned into films rarely work beyond ‘doing the job’, although film into TV comedy does seem to be a more worthwhile transition on occasion.

    • I haven’t ever seen the show, but I can understand how this character launched Coogan’s career. He’s memorable in the role.

      Seeing this also gives me even more appreciation for his performance in Philomena. He showed quite the range in that Oscar-nominated movie.

      And agreed that film into TV tends to work better than TV into film.

  7. I didn’t love this one, the humor is an aquired taste I guess. It had its moments, though, especially the “shawshank” scene in the bus amused me, and the radio broadcast bits were quite entertaining as well.
    Appears to have found an audience, as I heard rumors of a sequel and relauch of the tv-show.

    • I never saw the TV show, actually. So it isn’t a taste I previously had. But I still like this film enough, for what it is (though what it is is far from moving or inspiring).

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