Fisherman’s Friends, rated PG-13
This delightful 2019 film, available on Netflix, is based on the true story of a group of English fishermen who love to sing together. Scotty Smith mentioned the film in a recent sermon, and my wife and I decided to watch it later that evening – and we were glad that we did.
The film is set in Port Isaac, Cornwall (which is changed to Portwenn in the popular television series Doc Martin, which is filmed there). We visited Port Isaac in July 2019 on a family vacation and really enjoyed the scenery captured so well in this film by cinematographer Simon Tindall. The film was directed by Chris Foggin, and was written by Piers Ashworth, Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft.
The film begins with four music industry executives from London throwing a stag weekend for a colleague in Port Isaac. While there, the men see a group of ten men singing sea shanty songs, which they find humorous. As a gag, the boss Troy (Noel Clarke) tells Danny (Daniel Mays) a snobby music manager, to sign the men to a recording contract. Then, the others leave in their car for London laughing, leaving Port Isaac, and the unsuspecting Danny behind.Doing what he was told to do, Danny gets the men to record in a church where the acoustics are outstanding. It is then that Danny realizes that he really does have something special with these men, even though Troy finally tells him it was all just a big joke and to get back to London.
The singing group’s leader Jim (James Purefoy), is skeptical about Danny, but the group eventually agrees to sign a contract for one album. While in Port Isaac, Danny takes a liking to Jim’s daughter Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton), which Jim is not pleased with. Many of the scenes take place in the local pub, an important gathering place for the singers and the entire close-knit community. The pub is owned by Rowan (Sam Swainsbury), but he is deep in debt, leading to a sub-plot in the film.
In addition to the Cornwall scenery, I most enjoyed hearing the men sing, including out on their fishing boat.
The film is rated PG-13 for some adult language. The film also includes numerous drinking scenes and implied sexual activity. Themes in the film include friendship, singing, community, tradition and trust.
Fisherman’s Friend’s is a feel-good film – and don’t we all need more of those right now – based on a true story that also includes humor, romance and some adult language.