The 51st New York Film Festival: Alan Partridge Premier and Press Conference @ Lincoln Center 9/27/2013
Steve Coogan told me the reason he picked Marillion as a band to pick on in his new movie Alan Partridge was that he needed an obscure 80’s band to reference…though to be sure, Mr. Coogan gets a good laugh when he does and also vindicates one of my favorite prog rockers by this hilarious movie’s end.
I am a Coogan fan so it’s hard to gauge by my reactions exactly when this comedy rolls into just complete silliness but I feel this film, based on a character Coogan has made popular on British T.V some twenty years, is at its best when it is indeed very silly.
As Coogan told the crowded press conference that followed the premier showing, he’s not even sure how well American audiences will take to what really is a pretty anal and annoying character and Partridge’s dilemma of talking a fellow radio DJ (the always wonderful Colum Meaney) through a hostage crisis. Beyond the Marillion reference there is plenty of poopie/arse humor and truly uncomfortable yet hilarious moments when Partridge simply barrels through situations making you squirm in your seat with lots of those quickly quipped aides Coogan does so swell.
Yes, Coogan might be right about general American audiences not gripping Alan Partridge to their mainstream Hollywood hearts, you really have to be all-in with these characters and this kind of humor (the modern cultural references alone could make your head spin) but Coogan is pretty smart about his comedy. He told us of a few moments when beautiful cinematic shots were jettisoned in favor of an overall tightening-up of the action to better the comedy and really there isn’t a moment of let up during the full ninety minutes of this film.
Marillion fan or not, go see Alan Partridge and get ready for a rip roaring silly time with a slight undercurrent of a blink-you-might-miss-it statement in a film that will make you laugh out loud many times over.