Irish director Niall Heery won the Breakthrough Talent Award at the IFTAs back in 2007 for his first feature film, Small Engine Repair, but his latest offbeat comedy of errors, Gold, lacks the sparkle of his previous outing.
Gold, finds Heery bringing viewers on a journey of broken dreams, bittersweet moments and family breakups, all nestled in a small community in North Dublin. Ray (Wilmot) has real issues with his past, and like most people, he wishes that he could rewind the clock. When a tragic situation presents itself, allowing him to return to his hometown after twelve long years away, Ray seizes the opportunity with open arms.
Bringing his worn-out orange couch along for the ride, he uses the opportunity to bridge the gap with his childhood sweetheart Alice (Condon) and teenage daughter Abbie (Williams). When Ray discovers that his former school P.E. teacher Frank McGunn (Nesbitt) and his impressive moustache are living with his family, a comic catastrophe unfolds. Will Ray be given the second chance he is longing for?
Ray may be a bit all over the place and seem like he's good-for-nothing, but underneath his shoddy exterior he is likeable and sweet man. Williams plays the lost teen to perfection and adds a lot of warmth and heart to the flick, especially when she tries to become a cross-country champ just to win over her controlling stepfather. However, her attempt at an Irish accent is off in parts.
James Nesbitt steals the movie as the eccentric P.E. teacher, with the biggest laughs coming from his ridiculous fitness videos and clashing tracksuit. Kerry Condon plays the concerned mum that's caught up in a love triangle well, but at times the confusing situations she gets herself into, can take from the emotion of the film.
Stephen Mackintosh, who also starred in Small Engine Repair, makes a comical cameo as a trainer, with The Hardy Bucks' Martin Maloney putting in some good groundwork at the beginning of the movie.
The script, which Niall wrote with his brother Brendan, veers from relatable to ridiculous throughout, and at times, makes it hard to care about what happens to the characters.
Spandau Ballet's version of Gold may not feature on the movie's superb soundtrack, but Heery's production about second chances, will remind you to "always believe in your soul."