Starring: Brian Cox, Lauren Bacall, James Fox
Director: Robert Young
Running Time: 89 mins
All At Sea is a British/Norwegian film about a retired sailor who, after the death of his long-time friend, seeks to bury him at sea, despite protestations from the owners of his retirement home.
For a self-styled ‘black comedy’, I was rather surprised by just how light-hearted All At Sea is. While it’s a perfectly well-meaning and often charming affair, it’s a film that lacks a certain sharpness, with a messy screenplay that does little to make up for its excessive fluffiness.
Normally, a fluffy movie like this is easy to sit back and enjoy with your brain turned off. However, the issue with All At Sea is that it tries to do something more than just make you chuckle every now and then.
With a very personal story about a man looking to honour his long-time sailing partner the way he would have wanted, there’s a lot of focus on the emotions of characters here, which requires a little more attention and effort than just sitting back and enjoying a silly, light-hearted movie.
However, the screenplay here just doesn’t manage to pull that off. It’s got moments of charming humour, but it certainly doesn’t have any engaging emotional depth.
The characters’ motivations, particularly the rebellious but caring lead played by Brian Cox, are covered pretty early on. However, the film doesn’t go any further, and very few of the on-screen personalities change at all from the first act to the last.
As a result, this is a movie which fails to do anything with its story the longer it goes on. It may be less than 90 minutes long, but All At Sea really does drag at times, proving a boring watch that does too little to dive into what could have been a far more captivating personal story.
Overall, then, I was rather disappointed by All At Sea. Failing to live up to its publicised ‘black comedy’ mark, the film takes an overly light-hearted approach to what could have been a far more interesting story. Despite the odd charming moment, it’s a messy and largely dull affair with little character development throughout, so that’s why I’m giving it a 6.1.