Sometimes the best ideas are born out of sheer boredom and circumstance. Sometimes they're born out of greed and overactive imaginations. For the characters in this film it's a combination of all these factors and the results are often very funny.
Businessman and self-proclaimed entrepreneur Gerard Ring (Roe) has come up with what he thinks is his best idea yet - a famine theme park. What he envisages is an altogether more understated affair than what you might expect - picture an old gravel pit as the setting, bleak and suitably depressing. But he also needs some fixtures and fittings to bring the experience to life.
That's where Myles (O'Hanlon) and Austin (Bremner) come in. Working for Ring probably wouldn't have been their first choice, but sometimes circumstances dictate the choices we all make and these best friends have been meandering through life for a long time - until they are evicted from their flat and forced to take action to support themselves. Manual labour isn't either of their strengths and their new living arrangements leave a lot to be desired, but it's a case of desperate times.
The thing about Myles and Austin is that they drive each other mad and yet you get the idea that they'd be lost without each other because the habits of a lifetime have made them believe that they need each other. But when they signed up to work for Ring they weren't expecting to become debt collectors and escorts as well as labourers.
Operation Pay Gerard What You Own Him sees the pair get tough with some of the locals, including the very comical Dulally (Wycherley), who will go to any lengths to get out of paying up. And then there's local artist Leonie (Banks), who's taken to stalking Gerard, because his dating programme (another of his little brainwaves) isn't exactly giving her the results she'd like.
Although the setting is grim, the writing genius of Arthur Matthews ensures some great comedy moments in this movie. O'Hanlon and Bremner work so well in the lead roles, with their very different characters really sparking off each other, making the mutual dependency of the unlikely best friends really believable. But it is Owen Roe who steals the show as the straight-talking businessman Gerard Ring because everyone knows someone exactly like him, full of ridiculous ideas and always willing to get involved with the wrong people - as displayed in his dodgy dealings with shamed politician Hingerty (McSorley). Everything in Ring's life is about a nod and a wink and Roe nails this character. Don Wycherley is also amazing as Dulally, a man with the best one-liners always on the tip of his tongue, making you laugh out loud.
'Wide Open Spaces' is well worth a watch. It's wacky enough to make you giggle yet straight enough to really make you invest in the characters.