film review: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)

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film review: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)

Let me just start by saying… I’m not a huge Alan Patridge fan. So why go see Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa then? Because I was curious.

While I’m not a huge fan, I don’t actively dislike him. I’ve only really seen one of the Alan Patridge incarnations – I’m Alan Partridge – and I thought it was reasonably funny. I definitely remember laughing out loud from time to time, but not all the time.

The truth is, that kind of cringe-y, embarrasing humour isn’t really my thing. I couldn’t watch the UK version of The Office. I found Steve Carell’s Michael Scott infinitely more palatable than David Brent. I just don’t like watching a guy being an asshole for half an hour. I definitely wasn’t sure about possibly watching one for 90 mins.

Happily, the Alan Partridge movie is not that kind of thing. Well, happily for me. I’m not sure how the real Alan Partridge fans are going to take it. In Alpha Papa we definitely see… well not exactly a softer side of Alan, but less of the horrifying side of him. He’s not entirely a bollix.

As comedies go. It’s a lot more nostalgic than I expected. Now I know Alan’s whole thing was that he didn’t quite move with the times but I didn’t expect the film to embrace it in… such a cuddly way. There are still the laughs but the humour is more poking fun at Alan himself, rather than laughing at the ridiculous way he behaves with others.

If you know what I mean.

You might have to just see it to know what I mean, to be honest.

I guess this is a way of saying that Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is really Alan Partridge lite. The easy listening verison if you will. I suppose it had to be if they wanted anyone aside from his loyal fans to go to the cinemas to see.

Maybe that’s a little unfair but they’ve definitely smoothed out the edges for Alan Partridge’s big screen debut. There just aren’t the belly laughs that you’d want out of a good British comedy. There’s plenty of laughs but… they’re mostly little, gentle, laughs.

Obviously enough, this is Steve Coogan’s film though I wouldn’t like to play down the rest of the characters. Colm Meaney does stellar work as the down-trodden Paddy, there’s a creepy romantic subplot with a fellow DJ in North Norfolk Digital and Michael, Alan’s trouble Geordie friend is just hilarious.

I feel like I’ve been quite negative about the film, and that’s not really fair either. I enjoyed it a good deal more than I thought I would. It is funny. I swear. It may not be anything new or groundbreaking, it may not side splittingly funny, but it’s an enjoyable romp… and here and there, there are even a few moments of brilliance.


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