Out of all the TV shows that have been turned into movies, you can probably count on one hand how many of them are actually good. If you take it a step further, movies with characters in short sketches are even less likely to be worth watching. That’s unless the character is Borat or Wayne Campbell. Some of you may recognize Catherine Tate on this side of the world for being in the later seasons of the U.S.’s version of The Office. She had a popular sketch comedy show in England she called of all things, The Catherine Tate Show. This introduced us to a cantankerous old lady named Nan. Now 13 years after going off the air, Catherine Tate has brought Nan back, this time for a feature length film.
The Nan Movie follows the titular character as she travels to Ireland to see her dying sister. Her grandson thinks it’s important that they mend fences before she passes. Even though she is reluctant to go, Nan eventually relents and joins him. Of course like many of these types of films, the movie is more about the journey than the destination. And along the way they meet up with an odd cast of characters that make things interesting. In a nutshell that is the plot of the film, but there is a side story as well. Nan spends much of the time on the journey telling her grandson her backstory, explaining how things got to be the way they are.
Having never seen the character of Nan before watching the movie, it’s hard to review the film. After all, the character seems popular enough in Britain to spawn a feature film. Then, fans must see more to the character than what it shows. Granted, the movie does feel like a series of sketches rolled into one, which is the problem a lot of sketches have when they turn into features. Borat felt the same way, but it managed to avoid boring people because it was actually funny.
Nan does have its moments where it makes you laugh, but they are pretty far and few between. One can hope that the sketches worked a lot better than the film did. Another British series, Mrs. Brown’s Boys, had the same problem. It took a funny tv series and tried to make it last for way too long on the big screen. These things really just should stick to where they work, and stop the fan service.
If you enjoyed Nan on TV, you might enjoy The Nan Movie. If you’ve never heard of Nan before, you best avoid this one.