In their feature length directorial debuts Mike Ahern & Enda Loughman bring to life their own screenplay for comedy horror, ‘Extra Ordinary’. This Irish production features a small town narrative following driving instructor Rose Dooley, played by the wonderful Maeve Higgins. However, Rose wasn’t always a driving instructor and her past dealings working with the paranormal quickly come back to haunt her when a local resident reaches out for her help.
‘Extra Ordinary’ is a refreshingly silly comedy but one that has actual laughs wholly making its nonsensical narrative worth investing in. Ahern & Loughman, with additional writing support from lead star Higgins and Demian Fox, conjure up a very comical tone throughout their screenplay making ‘Extra Ordinary’ an extremely amusing film. The comparisons that it has drawn to the likes of ‘Father Ted’, amongst many other highly praised comedies, are very much warranted and if those have tickled your funny bone in the past ‘Extra Ordinary’ certainly will do too. The comedy is constant presence throughout the picture but it builds to a real crescendo of hilarity in the film’s finale where the biggest laughs are had, consistently escalating until its climax.
Much of this comedy comes courtesy of the wonderful cast Adhern & Loughman have secured for their picture. Lead star Higgins is a brilliant leading lady, she’s effortlessly watchable from the get go, executing the scenes of comedy with confidence and ability. She’s great at driving the narrative forward along with the help of her excellent supporting cast. It’s Barry Ward who plays widower Martin Martin who might just steal the show though thanks to his hysterical performance, especially in the latter scenes of the film. However, the film really has such a good cast across the board with Will Forte also contributing a hilarious performance as failed musician Christian Winter and giving off serious Richard Thorncroft vibes from the brilliant ‘Mindhorn’ in the process. Even smaller, cameo style performances from the likes of Siobhan McSweeney, better known as Sister Michael from ‘Derry Girls’, make their mark creating a really strong overall ensemble.
This combination of acting talent and comedic writing create a light-hearted, whimsical tone which make ‘Extra Ordinary’ super fun. Furthermore, some of the gags written concerning the reasons for the supernatural hauntings are comedic genius and may actually prove somewhat relatable for particular audiences, however to discuss them in any more detail would rob you of the much deserved laughs they provide. Ultimately Adhern & Loughman have executed their direction very impressively and for a debut feature film can be extremely proud of their finished product, clearly a film-making duo set for extraordinary things.
Written by Hamish Calvert
STAR RATING – ★★★
Question: What is your favourite Irish comedy film?
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Thanks to Queens Film Theatre for screening access