Comfort & Joy (Bill Forsyth, 1984)
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According to the Wikipedia:
"Comfort and Joy (1984 film)
Directed by Bill Forsyth
Written by Bill Forsyth
Starring Bill Paterson
Music by Mark Knopfler
Cinematography Chris Menges
Editing by Michael Ellis
Studio Thorn EMI
Distributed by Thorn EMI (UK)
Universal Pictures (USA)
Release date(s) 10 October 1984
Running time 106 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Comfort and Joy is a 1984 film directed by Bill Forsyth. It stars Bill Paterson as a Glasgow radio DJ whose life undergoes a bizarre upheaval when his girlfriend leaves him.
A few days before Christmas, Glasgow radio disc jockey Allan "Dicky" Bird is stunned when Maddy (Eleanor David), his kleptomaniac girlfriend of four years, suddenly announces that she is moving out. His doctor friend Colin (Patrick Malahide) tries to console him, but Bird is heartbroken.
One day, he goes for a drive to take his mind off his troubles. Noticing an attractive girl, Charlotte (Clare Grogan), in the back of a "Mr. Bunny" ice cream van, he follows it under a railway bridge on a whim and when the van stops, purchases an ice cream cone. (As in Alice in Wonderland, the protagonist has followed a rabbit through a tunnel, with sometimes bizarre consequences.) To his amazement, three men drive up and proceed to bash in the van. The occupants retaliate with squirts of raspberry sauce. By sheer chance, Bird finds himself involved in a turf war between rival Italian ice cream vendors: the young interloper Trevor (Alex Norton) and the older, more established "Mr. McCool"
As an admired local celebrity, Bird meets with McCool and his sons Bruno, Paolo, and Renato. He then goes back and forth between them and Trevor and Charlotte (later revealed to be McCool's rebellious daughter), trying to negotiate a peaceful settlement. Various misadventures follow, with his red BMW 323i Baur convertible suffering more and more damage each time. Bird becomes obsessed with resolving the war. To contact the combatants, he starts broadcasting coded messages on his early morning show, causing Hilary (Rikki Fulton), the radio station's managing director, to question Bird's sanity. Hilary orders Bird to see a psychiatrist about the Mr. Bunny he keeps trying to reach.
In the end, Bird proposes that the rival entrepreneurs, who turn out to be uncle and nephew, join forces to market a new treat: ice cream fritters. Both sides are impressed by the product's potential. It appeals both to Trevor's fish and chips frying background as well as Mr. McCool's ice cream expertise. Since Bird alone knows the secret ingredient of the ancient Chinese recipe, he cuts himself in for 30% of the gross and repairs to his abused car.
Bill Paterson as Alan Bird
Eleanor David as Maddy
Clare Grogan as Charlotte (as C. P. Grogan)
Alex Norton as Trevor
Patrick Malahide as Colin
Rikki Fulton as Hilary
Roberto Bernardi as "Mr. McCool"
George Rossi as Bruno
Peter Rossi as Paolo
Billy McElhaney as Renato
Gilly Gilchrist as Rufus
Caroline Guthrie as Gloria
Ona McCracken as Nancy
Elizabeth Sinclair as Fiona
Katy Black as Sarah
In his New York Times review, Vincent Canby wrote, "Comfort and Joy is a charming film on its own, but something of a disappointment when compared to Gregory's Girl and Local Hero, in which the inventions were more consistently comic and crazy." Film4 agreed, calling it "somehow not as satisfying as his [Forsyth's] early films." The reviewer went on to observe that, "Paterson is always worth seeing, while Grogan and David are equally watchable, but there aren't the belly laughs That Sinking Feeling provides so readily, or the casual charm of Gregory's Girl." The Variety magazine review was also lukewarm, concluding that after "evincing much laughter over an unexpectedly funny couple living together, Forsyth abruptly switches into a more conventional plot" and that "David and Paterson are terrific together and almost every line between them is a joy. From the point she departs with no explanation the pic flashes a sparky moment or two, but it doesn't reach the high spots again."
In a dissenting opinion, Roger Ebert called Comfort and Joy "one of the happiest and most engaging movies you are likely to see this year, and it comes from a Glasgow director who has made a specialty out of characters who are as real as you and me, and nicer than me."
Comfort and Joy has a 100 percent certified "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
As with Forsyth's previous film, Local Hero, Mark Knopfler provided the film's score. Some musical passages were taken from the 1982 Dire Straits album Love Over Gold.
Glasgow Ice Cream Wars, real-life, similar, but grimmer events
^ Vincent Canby (October 10, 1984). "Comfort and Joy (1984)". The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
^ "Comfort and Joy". Film4. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
^ "Comfort and Joy". Variety. January 1, 1984. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
^ Roger Ebert (January 1, 1984). "Comfort and Joy". rogerebert.com. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
^ Comfort and Joy (1984) at Rotten Tomatoes"
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