Alan Partridge: The Movie (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa)

Directed By: Declan Lowney

Starring: Steve Coogan and Colm Meaney

It's been a rather sparse year for the comedy genre as a whole.  The only good one to have arrived at the box office this year is Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Considering about a third of the year is now in our collective rearview mirror, having just one notable comedy is not saying much at all.  With the summer movie season looming, there's always hope that some good comedy will arrive.  At this point, it doesn't matter to me whether it's mainstream or independent.  I just want a funny movie.  I was hoping this weekend's Alan Partridge would do the trick given the immense popularity of this character overseas.

North Norfolk Digital, a local radio station in Norwich, has been purchased by a corporation and rebranded as "Shape".  With executives looking to appeal to a younger audience, it's abundantly clear to elder DJs Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) and Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) that they don’t have a whole lot of job security right now.  Relative to the new guys being brought into the station, they're dinosaurs.  With this in mind, Pat asks Alan to put in a good word for him in the front office.  When Alan interrupts a board meeting on behalf of his friend and learns that it's either Pat's job or his, he sings exactly the opposite tune to them.  The three little words in his chorus are "Just Sack Pat".  Unfortunately for Pat, he does indeed get fired soon thereafter.  On the other hand, he has a solution — picking up a shotgun and taking the radio station staff hostage during an office party.  As fate would have it, Pat won't talk to the cops once he sieges the Shape office.  He'll only talk to Alan, the man who actually got him fired in the first place.

I'm among the uninitiated.  I was not at all familiar with Alan Partridge prior to this movie.  From what I can see, this cartoonish media personality is one colorful character who delivers loads of charm and wit.  British comedian Steve Coogan is clearly in his element portraying the character.  Whether breaking out in song or putting together some silly broadcast, it's quite clear that he's having a lot of fun in this movie.  His fun translates on screen and makes it an entertaining film for the audience as well.  He's also got solid comedic chemistry on screen with the equally enjoyable Colm Meaney.

All in all, Alan Partridge is a decent comedy.  It's a little old school, a little irreverent, and quite endearing.  Steve Coogan's popular British character may not have a future stateside, but he definitely gave me a few good laughs.  Alan Partridge: The Movie gets a strong 0.06% rating.