Inspired by the true story of a group of Cornish lifeboat workers and friends who in their spare time were members of a local folk singing group called the Fisherman’s Friends. Based in a small Cornish village Port Isaac, the group became an unexpected hit with their album of authentic sea shanties which reached the top ten in the music charts.
The story begins when Danny Anderson (Daniel Mays) a music executive, travels to Cornwall on a stag weekend with a bunch of his London music PR mates. Pranked by his boss into offering to sign the local sea shanty singing group, led by Jim (James Purefoy), Jago (David Hayman) and Leadville (Dave Johns) Danny sets about convincing the group that he can get them a record deal.
Staying behind in Port Isaac after his friends dump him, he discovers a sense of community amongst the locals in the village that he has never experienced in London. When Danny finds out he is the butt of his boss’s joke after setting the wheels in motion, he makes it his mission to get a contract for the group.
There is of course, a love interest; Danny finds himself falling in love with Jims’ daughter, single-mother Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton), who gives him the boot when she finds out the record deal was a joke, and Danny has to prove himself to Alwyn and the rest of the community; and in the process finds the value of friendship and community over fame and fortune.
The film is one of those warm feel-good movies that are easy to watch, with its corny jokes and wisecracks, and of course, the good old sea shanty songs that invoke memories of family holidays in the small Cornish seaside towns of England.
Fishermen’s Friends is showing as part of the British Film Festival from 1st November.
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