"Has its moments but ultimately falls a little flat"
Although it is refreshing to see a black comedy come out of Britain after all of that Hugh Grant fluff, it is unfortunate that Keeping Mum is not that saving grace that it could have been.Reverend Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson) is a clumsy and somewhat bland town vicar who lives with his wife Gloria (Kristin Scott Thomas) and his two children in a small English town called Little Wallop. Gloria desperately tries to keep up appearances as the Vicar's wife but she is finding that her children and her dull husband are just not satisfying her any more so she plans to run off to Mexico with Lance (Patrick Swayze), her American golf instructor.
Life soon takes a turn for the better after the arrival of a new housekeeper named Grace (Maggie Smith) who not only keeps the house in shape but manages to set her new found family on the path to happiness – they are just not aware that it takes a murder or two in order to accomplish this mission.
Keeping Mum is somewhat an oddity of a film in the fact that it is never sure whether to be an all out comedy or a semi-serious drama. They have cast Rowan Atkinson, a very funny comedian, in an almost straight role which seems quite a waste considering it is being sold as a comedy.
There is plenty of potential in Keeping Mum but it probably would have been much more effective as and hour long television show. Running almost two hours, it does outstay its welcome with the murderous tendencies of an elderly woman being a one line joke that is stretched too far. There are some genuinely funny scenes courtesy of Patrick Swayze’s sleazy character, who seems to be a parody of all of his 80’s film roles and it is good to see Maggie Smith playing a darker role than normal.Keeping Mum is perhaps not one to rush out to see at the cinema but it does have its moments so I’d recommend having a look once it is released for rental.