The loveable Geordie duo of Terry and Bob had made for a much-loved state of affairs comedy, The Likely Lads, within the 1960s. It was later resurrected as Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? within the 1970s, which caught up with the additional adventures of the socially-climbing and aspirant Bob Ferris (Rodney Bewes) and his melancholic however mischievous greatest buddy Terry (James Bolam) – however in color! The Likely Lads, launched in 1976, was their massive display screen outing, which is launched not solely in color however in high-definition due to restoration work on the unique movie print.
The movie adopted on from the occasions of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? which had wrapped up at Christmas 1974. It appeared that the catchy theme music’s lyrics: “Oh, what occurred to you? Whatever occurred to me?” continued to seize the creativeness of most people. It’s straightforward to see why. Bob and Terry, with their shut friendship regardless of opposing social conditions and views of life, are nice firm, and their capers are delightfully dropped at life by one of many most-revered of comedy-writing duos – Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.
Time is marching on for The Likely Lads. Bob is now a development foreman working throughout a number of websites, married to Thelma (Brigit Forsyth), residing a lower-middle class life on the fringes of suburbia. Terry continues to be single however not wanting choices, residing in high-rise social housing the place the elevate is completely out of order. The movie acknowledges that they’re not the cheeky younger chaps they’d been over a decade earlier once they have been first thrust fresh-faced into public consciousness. The opening sequence brings them collectively because the bulldozers are clearing away the Victorian slums through which they have been born, together with the general public home the place they’d loved their first pint, and many extra after that. It’s sentimental, but in addition laced with concern and uncertainty about what the long run holds now that their previous is being erased – a well-recognized concern of these reaching early center age.
The bulk of the story is taken up with a caravanning weekend through which Bob and Thelma are accompanied by Terry and Christina – his unbelievably lovely Finnish girlfriend (performed by the late Mary Tamm of Doctor Who-fame). Thelma and Terry have by no means been each other’s largest followers (he’s, in any case, the one problem to her authority by his tendency to guide Bob astray) and the phase falls into the tried and examined comedy staple of a vacation from hell, which results in Bob feeling sorry for the Roman troopers who have been posted to Northumberland in Hadrian’s time. With the ladies asleep within the caravan, Bob and Terry resolve to up sticks and curtail the vacation, however their unilateral decision-making, for sure, isn’t consequence-free.
If you want a comedy filled with pathos and a contact of wistful nostalgia, The Likely Lads has lots going for it. There are loads of comedy tropes together with trouserless escapes into the bushes at useless of night time, however there’s consolation within the familiarity. As properly as feeling like one closing flourish for Bob and Terry, The Likely Lads can also be a coda to their misadventures – an exploration of the tip of an period. It’s unattainable for the characters’ legacy to not be tinted by the notorious fallout between Bewes and Bolam that occurred on the time of the movie’s launch. Despite Bewes’ overtures, the pair by no means spoke once more, and after Bewes’ demise in 2017, their variations will stay without end unresolved.
Although it breaks no new floor, and appears like two episodes of a state of affairs comedy stretched out and filmed on the next price range, The Likely Lads raises sufficient laughs to endear it to anybody who already enjoys the unique sitcoms. Bewes and Bolam are, as all the time, a pleasure to observe and easy of their characterisations. Brigit Forsyth and and Mary Tamm are wonderful as their foils, and the questions the movie raises – what’s the easiest way to stay, and the way will we reconcile ourselves to our lot in life? – are examined with nice humour. There are additionally some nice strains. “I’d give you a tin, however I solely have six,” Terry tells Bob, supping beer.
Extras on the disc will vastly excite followers of the unique collection. Two recently-unearthed prints of black and white episodes of The Likely Lads from the 1960s are included on the disc. A Star is Born sees Terry resolve he’s going to be the subsequent Bob Dylan and enter a expertise contest on the native pub, solely to be overshadowed by a cut-price Tom Jones. Far Away Places sees the duo head to the journey agent’s to ebook a vacation. Bob has his coronary heart set on a little bit of sea and solar, however Terry is glad to forego the latter and suggests every week in Bognor. It’s improbable to see the recent, humorous episodes, half a century after they have been made.
Cast: Rodney Bewes, James Bolam, Brigit Forsyth, Mary Tamm, Alun Armstrong, Sheila Fearn Director: Michael Tuchner Writers: Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais Released by: Network Distributing Certificate: PG Duration: 90 minutes Release date: 1st April 2019