It’s impossible not to enjoy this big-hearted and sweet-natured British family movie from Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin – effectively a feature-format development of their smash-hit BBC TV comedy, Outnumbered, which pioneered semi-improvised dialogue from the children. It creates a terrifically ambitious (and unexpected) narrative with a tonne of sharp gags. I would have liked to see Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner reprise their roles as the mum and dad, but because we have all seen their fictional children grow up on the small screen that is not really feasible. David Tennant and Rosamund Pike are Doug and Abi, the troubled parents of three boisterous kids: they’re heading up to Scotland for the 75th birthday of Doug’s unwell dad, Gordy (Billy Connolly), which means staying with Doug’s uptight brother, Gavin (Ben Miller), and his depressed wife, Margaret (an excellent Amelia Bullmore). This means maintaining all the secrets and lies of families, and Gordy finds the only people he really gets on with are Doug’s young children. He respects their natural honesty and confides to them his hopes and fears. Jenkin and Hamilton have created a smart script, with laughs and subtleties: could there be a connection in Gordy’s mind between the own goal in football and the wartime friendly fire that caused a family tragedy? Very impressive and likable stuff.
Peter Bradshaw, 25th September 2014