Director: Brendan Grant
Cast: Killian Scott, Peter Coonan, Sarah McCall and Gemma-Leah Devereux
Running Time: 99 minutes
Release Date: May 1st
To paraphrase LCD Soundsystem, “Dublin, I love you but you’re bringing me down.” While it’s great that our latest national cinematic revival has been so impressive, the constant misery porn to be found within the likes of Calvary, Patrick’s Day and Glassland would have you believe that the entire Irish Film Board could do with a prescription of anti-depressants. While we’re not going to stand here and defend Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie, at the very least it provided an alternative to the downer buzz to be found elsewhere.
And so we have Get Up & Go, a film which deals with A LOT of potentially depressing subject matters, and still manages to handle them all with a light comedic touch. Charting the course of one day in the lives of two best friends, we’re introduced to Alex (Peter Coonan) as he discovers his girlfriend Sinead (Sarah McCall) is pregnant. Suggesting they move to London so she can get an abortion and start their lives anew, she rejects him and he decides to leave Ireland that very day. Meanwhile, Coilin (Killian Scott) has just been fired from his going-nowhere job, but when he’s given his first break within the world of stand-up comedy, he sees it as a sign that his life is finally coming together and decides to announce his love for his not-so-secret crush Lola (Gemma-Leah Devereux), who also happens to be Sinead’s sister.
From there, writer/director Brendan Grant writes a love letter to Dublin and a condolences card for the people living in it, one half a bro-mantic Before Midnight, and one half a Woody Allen-esque tragi-comedy. The capital is painted in a vast metropolitan glow, while Alex, Coilin and their group of friends are trying to make ends meet just enough to live in it. Without pushing the “We’re In A Recession!” button too heavily, it is a perfect time-capsule of the city as it is, with people embarrassed and secretive of any success they have in case people assume they’re now flush with cash, or drinking expensive coffees in the most hipster of cafes while simultaneously shamelessly mooching for free tickets to gigs they don’t even have an interest in.
Featuring career best turns from Coonan and Scott, their easy chemistry making them comfortable and relatable to spend 90 minutes with even as their characters do at times veer perilously close to unlikable, but the natural charisma of the duo makes sure we stay on their side throughout. Much like 2013’s undervalued Irish gem Run & Jump, Get Up & Go takes what could have been another bummer of a movie and turns it into something refreshing and entertaining.