The story of a dysfunctional family that is planning an elaborate birthday together.
Sometimes you miss catching a movie when it first comes to the cinema, or when it’s released on DVD, but you usually get to see it eventually. This is exactly what happened to me with What we did on our holiday. The story of a dysfunctional family (is there any other kind?) that is planning an elaborate get together for their father’s 75th birthday – who is unfortunately dying of cancer.
Gordie (Billy Connolly) lives on a Scottish country estate, with his social-climbing son Gavin (Ben Miller), his overly anxious daughter-in-law and awkward grandson. Forced into celebrating his birthday in an over-the-top affair, all Gordie wants to do is enjoy spending his last remaining days in his beautiful and peaceful surroundings. However, the arrival of his other son Doug (David Tennant), estranged (unbeknown to anyone) wife Abi (Rosamund Pyke) and three young children, ensures things don’t go quite to plan.
Deciding to take his three young grandchildren out for the day to escape the palaver of the party, Gordie doesn’t seem to comprehend the severity of his condition. When the inevitable happens on a secluded beach, the three young children decide it’s up to them to take care of their grandfather’s final wishes, as the adults back at the house can’t be trusted to do so.
The stellar British cast guides the movie through its unlikely, though amusing and thought-provoking storyline. Inoffensive and funny in the main, some of the characters will grate, but stick with it – it’s worth it in the end.
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