GET UP AND GO (Ireland/15A/94mins)
Directed by Brendan Grant. Starring Peter Coonan, Killian Scott, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Sarah McCall, Ryan McParland, Natalia Kostrzewa, Aidan Lawlor, Sara Lloyd-Gregory, Fionn Walton, Paul Woodfull.

THE PLOT: Life is coming to a head for Dublin buddies Coilin (Scott) and Alex (Coonan). The former is a struggling stand-up comedian convinced that one-night stand Lola (Devereux) is the girl of his dreams. Alex, on the other hand, has already found his beloved, Sinead (McCall), who just happens to be Lola’s sister. She also, it turns out over pillow talk, pregnant. Which kinda scuppers the couple’s plans to travel the world. Sinead realises that having a baby will be adventure enough. Alex is not convinced. At all. And so he openly sets about getting the hell out of Dodge, enlisting the listless Coilin as he heads around town, trying to call in favours and loans, or just borrow some moolah.

As the day progresses, both Coilin and Alex are faced with a few grim realities, and the convictions that they set out with in the morning begin to shift, and wane, and wobble…

THE VERDICT: All the ingredients are here for a funky little film, including the highly likeable Coonan and Scott – best known, of course, as Fran and Tommy in LOVE/HATE – in the lead roles, plus a hip, happy supporting cast and a kick-ass Domino Records soundtrack. So, how come GET UP AND GO lacks a certain, well, get up and go?

There’s a growing air here of a smart writer/director just finding his feet, of the wheels of his would-be clever scripts grinding to a halt every now and then. As likeable and thoroughly modern as these young Dublin hipsters might be, there’s a lack of truth about the characters and their stories here that robs GET UP AND GO of some vital emotional grit. You don’t fully believe in these guys, as much as you want to. Given that it’s Coonan and Scott.
In the end, the soundtrack – Villagers, Jon Hopkins, Bill Ryder-Jones, etc – is the best thing about this film. Oh, and that funky mixtape-head poster.

Review by Paul Byrne

Get Up and Go
Review by Paul Byrne
3.0Kick-ass Soundtrack
  • filmbuff2011

    Reviewing Irish films can be a tricky affair. The film industry here is so small that it can often feel judgmental when criticising the latest low-budget effort to hit our screens. But while recent efforts like Run & Jump and Glassland deserve praise, the same can’t be said for Get Up And Go. This Dublin-set drama revolves around a quartet of twentysomething friends. There’s stand-up comedian Coilin (Killian Scott) who is more sad sack than laugh bag. His best bud Alex (Peter Coonan) is afraid of fatherhood, given that his on/off girlfriend Sinead (Sarah McCall) tells him that she’s pregnant. He wants to leave Dublin, preferring to be the guy who left rather than the guy left pushing the pram. Coilin also has lady problems, pining for his one night stand Lola (Gemma-Leah Devereux) who just wants him to get lost. Coilin and Alex hit the town and try to make some money and hopefully find the path to their now-uncertain futures… Get Up And Go was shot in familiar Dublin city centre locations, so it’s refreshing to watch a film knowing that the locations are just around the corner. There’s some amusement in knowing that Alex works in the Screen Cinema, though the titles on the marquee give away the fact that the film was made 2 years ago (look quickly for Much Ado About Nothing and Blue Is The Warmest Colour, which were actually released months apart). Dublin itself is a character. It looks great and is the best thing about this rather muddled and aimless film from director Brendan Grant. The characters are typical Irish twentysomething types, earnest but unsure of their direction in life and desperately wanting to leave the fair city while also eager to stay. You can’t beat the ‘aul sod. While the performances are good, this reviewer felt that the characters never really had a story arc worthy of 99 minutes. They don’t seem to go anywhere story-wise and don’t learn much along the way. The audience doesn’t even get a great farewell scene, instead cutting unexpectedly to the end credits. Get Up And Go isn’t a bad Irish film overall. It’s just not a particularly good one, which means this is far from an essential watch. Catch it on RTE in a few years time. **