A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fisherman’s Friends is a British feel-good dramedy based on the true story of a 10-man singing group from a costal town that contains strong language and drinking. The tone of the movie is light-hearted and the main themes are community, loyalty, and friendship. Language includes variants of "f--k", "s--t," "bastard," and "bitch." Central to the plot is the future of a local pub, where much of the action takes place. Characters are regularly seen drinking beer and rum. There is a one reference to "wacky baccy" (British slang for pot), although no drug taking is actually seen. There is a romantic subplot, which involves some kissing and implied sex, although there is nothing explicit. A seagull is shot dead with a flare gun and a fight nearly breaks out in the pub, but that is the extent of the violence in the movie.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS tells the tale of a cynical London record label executive, Danny (Daniel Mays) who discovers a group of singing fishermen in a small British costal town. Initially urged to sign them as part of a prank, Danny’s belief in the group soon grows. As Danny helps the group achieve the unthinkable, his cynicism diminishes while learning a number of important lessons along the way.
Is it any good?
A feel-good rather than groundbreaking movie, Fisherman's Friends sounds great. Music is performed throughout, using a mixture of the real-life group's singers and the actors' voices. The vocal style of the folk group adds a warmth and joy to each scene. While it walks a well-trodden path of the underdog group's rise to success, the unique subject makes it feel fresh while the character's personalities shine through. With the villagers initially pitched in an "us against them" approach to the visiting Londoners, the two contrasting groups provide enough laughs.
The romantic plot is effective too, with single parent, Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton) being the rock that grounds both her hurt-in-love father, Jim (James Purefoy) and Danny, who doesn't believe in monogamy at the start of the movie. There are few surprises in Fisherman's Friends but it serves up a solid collection of comedic and dramatic situations that always land, resulting in a satisfying watch. One to catch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendship in Fisherman's Friends. What are some examples of good friendships in the movie? What character strengths are needed for a successful friendship?
Discuss the character of Danny. What does he learn from the villagers? Why is it important to speak to people from outside your social circles?
The fishermen have lots of traditions -- discuss what uses traditions serve. Can you think of any other traditions among other groups?
Do you feel the strong language was integral to the story? Did it make the movie feel more realistic? Does the fact the movie is based on a true story change how you feel about it?
- On DVD or streaming: July 24, 2020
- Cast: James Purefoy, Meadow Nobrega, David Hayman
- Director: Chris Foggin
- Studio: Entertainment Film Distributors
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 112 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: some strong language, and suggestive references
- Last updated: November 3, 2020
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