Life's a Breeze (R)
Comedy 85 September 19, 2014
Ken Loach's recent comedies of working-class life seem to be Daly's main inspiration here. Life's a Breeze keeps itself from sailing all the way into Full Monty-style uplift by its bittersweet tone. In fact, it often descends into a sheer pissiness -- as in a cruel prank played on Colm -- closer to Mike Leigh or even Todd Solondz than Loach. But a bigger problem is that Daly's a more talented director than screenwriter. He often fills the entire widescreen frame with people and objects, taking full advantage of the space offered by Cinemascope, but as a writer, he pushes Life's a Breeze along from one contrivance to the next in order to hit feature length. The film's surface naturalism and visual grit simply cover up a screenplay that's as full of crap as the average recent Hollywood comedy. All the same, Flanagan's quietly dignified performance deserves a better film to be built around it.