Monday, February 01, 2021

Movie Monday: Blow the Man Down

I was looking for something on the lighter side (as opposed to a classic thriller) for our Saturday night movie, so we chose the dark comedy Blow the Man Down. I heard about it on Pop Culture Happy Hour, one of my favorite podcasts. It's not laugh-out-loud funny, but it was an amusing story about the dark underbelly of a quiet Maine fishing village.

Mary Beth (played by Morgan Saylor) and Priscilla (played by Sophie Lowe) Connolly, two young adult sisters, have just lost their mother. The three of them lived together and ran the Connolly Fish store in the small Maine coastal town of Easter Cove. The girls are grieving over their mother's death, as the whole town attends the funeral and a reception at the house afterward. While the men of the town work in the water, fishing and lobstering (with sea shanties sung at various points during the movie!), it's a small group of older women who seem to run things. Susie (played by June Squibb), Doreen (played by Marceline Hugot), and Gail (played by Annette O'Toole) walk around town together, keeping an eye on things and watching over the newly orphaned young women. Then there's Enid, played by Margo Martindale, who dresses much too nicely for this cold, remote place and runs the local "Bed and Breakfast" aka brothel, which is a well-known secret in town that is tolerated. The night after the funeral, Mary Beth, who has plans to attend college next year, goes out to the local bar to blow off some steam and ends up in a bad situation with an even badder guy. One thing leads to another, and the guy ends up dead (harpooned) on the docks. She runs home in tears and tells her sister what happened, and the two girls set out to cover up the crime. But there are really no secrets in tiny Easter Cove.

So, clearly, this movie begins with some really dark stuff: death of a beloved mother, violence, and murder. But as the sisters try to cover things up, and the three older woman walk around town and gather at kitchen tables, things turn a bit farcical, though it always keeps that dark edge. It reminded me a bit of a Coen Brothers film. Other than the two police officers (and the dead thug), it's a mostly female cast, and they are outstanding in their roles. The plot gets a bit twisty (but not too complex), as the scared girls try to keep the police (and everyone else) from finding out what happened. Despite its dark themes, it's a fun, original movie that was very entertaining. It has an unheard-of 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Just be prepared to get sea shanties stuck in your head!

Blow the Man Down is an Amazon Original movie, so it is available exclusively on Amazon.

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