Wild Mountain Thyme: Have Irish stereotypes always been this bad?

Natasha Lynch

Questionable accents and confusing time frames are the first thoughts that arise after watching the trailer for the new romantic comedy ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’.

Social media erupted earlier this month when it aired on YouTube, starring Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan and none other than Christopher Walken. Blunt plays the lead role of a farmer named Rosemary Muldoon who sets her eyes on her neighbour Anthony Reilly (Dornan) whilst they are caught up in their family’s land dispute.

Walken’s accent sounds like his native New York drawl but with a slight twang; when his voice comes in over the first shot, we are met with the ever so familiar ‘Oireland’.

However, Blunt and Dornan have faced the most backlash for their unrealistic dialects in the trailer, with plenty of ‘dis, dat, dese and dose’. Dornan hails from County Down but his accent in the trailer has been compared to an American impersonating an Irish man.

Blunt’s character Rosemary can be seen wearing long dresses and shawls which bear resemblance to the 1890s, however her clothes then evolve in the trailer to match the 1970s. It’s unclear whether this storyline is set way back when or in the present day.

The farm setting shows Rosemary going about her simple daily routine, apparently with no soap to clean the muck off her face. We then see her being whisked away to New York with Anthony’s American cousin (suggesting a love triangle) and surrounded by skyscrapers and Rolls-Royce cars.

The film will be an adaptation of the Tony nominated play ‘Outside Mullingar’, by John Patrick Shanley, however it is meant to be set in County Mayo. It represents the idyllic view of Ireland, perhaps from the perspective of people who’ve never been and think there’s just donkeys, farms and an abundance of mountains. 

Some people have voiced their opinion that Irish actors should be hired for roles, as evidently the accent is so hard to master. However, this would defeat the whole concept of acting and perhaps a good dialect coach would simply solve the issue.

Irish people are certainly used to the typical Hollywood clichés and stereotypes, with a long list of films that fueled a caricatured view of Ireland and Irish people in general, such as P.S I Love You starring Gerald Butler and Leap Year starring Amy Addams. 

This film does not appear to be intended for an Irish audience, but until its official release in cinemas, maybe we can give it the small benefit of the doubt.

Natasha Lynch

Image credit: IMDB