Mrs. Brown

Bomb Rating: 

If you take a crowbar and a piece of coal and are able to sneak past the Buckingham Palace guards and wedge the coal up the Queen's ass, you'll quickly have yourself a diamond. (The crowbar, of course, is to pry open the Queen's butt cheeks to insert the piece of coal. Mr. Cranky is not responsible for any misuse of the crowbar.)

The royal family's reputed rigidity is supposed to create enough irony to drive two full hours of "Mrs. Brown" -- but does not. It's the true story of the relationship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and her Scottish servant, John Brown (Billy Connolly), beginning in the 1860s. Having suffered a ridiculously long state of mourning after the death of her husband (The King), the Queen is drawn out of her sorrow by Brown, who takes her on horsie rides.

I've said it once; I've said it a thousand times: What kind of brain-dead director expects us to be overwhelmed by the complexity of the human psyche when our cathartic messengers are Brits who discover -- much to their surprise -- that they have a wider range of emotions than dour and glum?

Director John Madden actually expects the viewer to be affected because the Queen is able to contort her face into a smile when she's around Brown. On the other hand, perhaps we should take what we can get -- we ca n be damn sure the Queen isn't going to be hanging her bare ass out of any limousine windows or playing hide the Fish n' Chips. When it comes to the royal family, after all, everything is relative.

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