There is a pleasant sub-genre of British comedy cinema where eccentric country folk get the better of their big city cousins. Some of the resulting films have become minor classic as in the case of such titles as WHISKEY GALORE and THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT. These clashes between seemingly naive yokels and the more sophisticated urban dwelling authority figures are usually extoll the virtues of the rural communities. It might be worth noting that the corresponding American clashes between city folks and country folk would seem to be films like DELIVERANCE and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE which should tell us something. Sam Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS is an attempt to transpose the American mind-set to England - not that we Brits should feel complacent as THE WICKER MAN takes things to their extreme. Christopher Monger's film, set in rural Wales in 1917 belongs to the comfortably eccentric rather than the dangerously weird. Two cartographers travel to deepest Wales to measure hills for goverment survey maps. Their decision that a hill previously regarded as a mountain by the local villagers is in fact twenty feet short of the official designated height for mountains. The locals decide to add the required footage to the hill. It's all quite slight but highly entertaining in a gentle sort of way with likeable lead performance by Hugh Grant (doing what Hugh Grant does) and excellent support from Colm Meaney, Tara FitzGerald, Ian McNiece and Kenneth Griffith. Rating ***
COURTESY OF THE WHITE BUS COMPANY.