Irish Twitter users slam rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme for perpetuating stereotypes

A new rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme set in rural Ireland has been blasted for perpetuating outdated stereotypes, with one outraged critic summing up the feelings of a nation by branding it ‘worse than the famine’.

The film, set to air next month, released its first trailer on Tuesday to much anticipation, but left disappointed Irish social media users howling at the screen due to its ‘clichéd script, outdated costumes and “criminal” accents’.

It stars British actress Emily Blunt – with dyed red hair and sporting a selection of shawls last in fashion in the 1800s – and Belfast-born Jamie Dornan as neighbouring farmers struggling to find love with each other. 

They are joined by Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm, who is the only character speaking in his natural accent as an American visitor, leading audiences to hit out at the rest of the casts’ ‘terrible West of Ireland brogue.  

Viewers even speculated that the film could outdo Tom Cruise’s much-maligned lilt in the 1992 drama Far and Away. 

‘Even we think this is a bit much,’ tweeted the National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland, while the Dublin Airport Authority added: ‘There’s fashion police, grammar police, we even have airport police. Is there such a thing as accent police?

‘If so somebody better call ‘em. On the upside Ireland looks nice.’

But it wasn’t just the dodgy accents which offended viewers, with the rom-com, filmed in County Mayo, also being lambasted for suggesting Irish people all have ‘red hair, outdated clothes and love a fight’.

Here, FEMAIL reveals the stereotypes Twitter users took issue with.

It's supposed to showcase the best or rural Ireland, but new rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme (pictured) has left some viewers concerned it's only going to further perpetuate stereotypes

It’s supposed to showcase the best or rural Ireland, but new rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme (pictured) has left some viewers concerned it’s only going to further perpetuate stereotypes

Reaction: The film, set to air next month, released its first trailer on Tuesday to much anticipation, but left disappointed Irish social media users howling at the screen due to its 'cliché' accents, outdated costumes and criminal accents'

Reaction: The film, set to air next month, released its first trailer on Tuesday to much anticipation, but left disappointed Irish social media users howling at the screen due to its ‘cliché’ accents, outdated costumes and criminal accents’

'Even we think this is a bit much,' tweeted the National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland (above)

‘Even we think this is a bit much,’ tweeted the National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland (above)

Dublin Airport Authority added (pictured): ' There’s fashion police, grammar police, we even have airport police. Is there such a thing as accent police? If so somebody better call ‘em. On the upside Ireland looks nice.'

Dublin Airport Authority added (pictured): ‘ There’s fashion police, grammar police, we even have airport police. Is there such a thing as accent police? If so somebody better call ‘em. On the upside Ireland looks nice.’

TERRIBLE ACCENTS

Despite the film’s comedic nature, some viewers were not laughing by the end of the first trailer – and instead launched a tirade of criticism, namely in reference to the cast’s accents.

The storyline of Wild Mountain Thyme 

Starring Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan as neighbouring farmers struggling to find love with each other, the pair are also joined by Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm in Wild Mountain Thyme. 

Jamie and Emily’s characters Anthony and Rosemary are ‘besotted’ but haven’t got together because of the former’s reservation to commit.

But Anthony’s home life isn’t going great, as he is constantly at odds with his father Tony (Walken) who claims: ‘You take after John Kelly, and that man was as mad as the full moon, drowned himself.’ 

Despite Anthony having plans to propose to Rosemary eventually, Tony is fed up of waiting for his son to take to his responsibilities and offers his farm to Anthony’s American cousin Tommy (Hamm) instead. 

It’s not only the farm that Tommy could get his hands on, as he’s seen flirting with Rosemary as Anthony argues with his father about potentially being disinherited.

Telling her he doesn’t ‘wait’ for anything in the first trailer, Rosemary admits she likes that quality in him and the pair visit New York City together.

Returning home, Rosemary confronts Antony and tells him ‘time is running out’ on their romance, as a narrator asks: ‘What is love, it is a quest or madness?’

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One person wrote: ‘As a young Irishman, I’ll be skipping this because, holy f*** Blunt and Walken’s accents are so awful.’

While another hit out: ‘The accents though… could they get any worse.’ 

One person jokingly wrote: ‘I am only managing about ten seconds of the Wild Mountain Thyme trailer per attempt and my thoughts and prayers are with all actual Irish people at this difficult time.’

A fourth viewer said: ‘Man those accents are painful to hear and I love Walken in most things.. but damn.’

Even Emily herself admitted that she found the Irish accent a struggle to accomplish in the production, directed by John Patrick Shanley.

An Irish American from New York, John, who won a best original screenplay Oscar in 1988 for Moonstruck, adapted the film from his play, Outside Mullingar, which ran on Broadway in 2014.

Speaking to People, Emily, 37, who plays Rosemary Muldoon, a headstrong farmer with a yearning for her neighbor, Anthony Reilly (played by Jamie), said: ‘I’ll admit, I’m sure I had a tougher time with it than [Jamie] did initially.

‘But he assured me that I sounded Irish and I’m going to believe him. So if he’s wrong, I’m going to blame him for any backlash on my accent. He has assured me it was a great Irish accent. We’ll see.’

While she certainly has received a lot of backlash regarding her Irish accent, not everyone was keen to criticise.

The Irish embassy in Washington DC emphasized with Emily’s struggle.

‘To be fair, Irish accents are hard (we struggle with them at times),’ it tweeted. ‘But otherwise #WildMountainThyme looks great. 

‘And, in Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt, presents a remarkably realistic depiction, visually at least, of the average Irish man and woman. Truly, we are a beautiful people.’

OUTDATED CLOTHES 

For some viewers, the 'average Irish man and woman' that Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan (pictured together) tried to represent was an old-fashioned version

For some viewers, the ‘average Irish man and woman’ that Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan (pictured together) tried to represent was an old-fashioned version

Many Twitter users took issue with the outfits worn by the characters, which included Aran cardigans and shawls, while dirty faces and traditional style fishing boats (pictured) were also featured

Many Twitter users took issue with the outfits worn by the characters, which included Aran cardigans and shawls, while dirty faces and traditional style fishing boats (pictured) were also featured

Reaction: Due to the outdated ensembles and items, observers were left puzzled by which period the film was set in, suggesting it looked like the early 1800s

Reaction: Due to the outdated ensembles and items, observers were left puzzled by which period the film was set in, suggesting it looked like the early 1800s

However, for some viewers, the ‘average Irish man and woman’ that Emily and Jamie tried to represent was an old-fashioned version.

Many Twitter users took issue with the outfits worn by the characters, which included Aran cardigans and shawls, while dirty faces and traditional style fishing boats were also featured.

Due to the outdated ensembles and items, observers were left puzzled by which period the film was set in, suggesting it looked like the early 1800s.

But a scene in which Emily’s character speaks about freezing her eggs and another where people are in modern-day New York clarifies that the production was actually based in the more recent past.

‘I have so many questions. Namely, what year is this supposed to be and why did anyone think this was a good idea?,’ wrote one viewer.

Another joked: Ah sure, bejaysus, we’ve all known that one Rosemary in the 19th century dress freezing her eggs under a 2020 New York skyline.’

A third added: ‘Why do they all sound like people from the 1800s. I was so confused about the era here. It looks like the Irish lot are wearing clothes from the ’70s but then New York is clearly in modern times… This is so disappointing.’

RED HAIR MYTH

It wasn't only the clothes that came under fire following the release of the first trailer - with social media users pointing out how Emily's blonde hair had been changed to red (pictured)

It wasn’t only the clothes that came under fire following the release of the first trailer – with social media users pointing out how Emily’s blonde hair had been changed to red (pictured)

'And the red hair myth is next on the agenda', wrote one disappointed viewer. 'I do like Emily Blunt but we have Irish actresses. Some of whom even have red hair,' another quipped (pictured)

‘And the red hair myth is next on the agenda’, wrote one disappointed viewer. ‘I do like Emily Blunt but we have Irish actresses. Some of whom even have red hair,’ another quipped (pictured)

It wasn’t only the clothes that came under fire following the release of the first trailer – with social media users pointing out how Emily’s blonde hair had been changed to red. 

‘And the red hair myth is next on the agenda’, wrote one disappointed viewer. ‘I do like Emily Blunt, but we have Irish actresses. Some of whom even have red hair,’ another quipped.

A third unimpressed social media user questioned: ‘Do the people who cast Wild Mountain Thyme know that there are Irish women who don’t have red hair with wispy fringes and who wear knee length skirts to preserve their Catholic guilt whilst they go periwinkle picking by the shore.’ 

In 2016, Ireland had the second highest proportion of natural gingers in the world, at 10 per cent, just behind Scotland at 13 per cent.

IRISHMEN LOVING A FIGHT

Another stereotype viewers suggested the film was wrongly encouraging is the claim that 'half of Ireland loves a fight.' Pictured, Jamie in character

Another stereotype viewers suggested the film was wrongly encouraging is the claim that ‘half of Ireland loves a fight.’ Pictured, Jamie in character

Reaction: The joke that Irish people like to fight hit the wrong note with some social media users (pictured)

Reaction: The joke that Irish people like to fight hit the wrong note with some social media users (pictured)

Another stereotype viewers suggested the film was wrongly encouraging is the claim that ‘half of Ireland loves a fight.’

Jamie and Emily’s characters Anthony and Rosemary are ‘besotted’ but haven’t got together because of the former’s reservation to commit.

But during the trailer, we see Rosemary be charmed by Anthony’s American cousin Tommy (played by Jon Hamm). 

The pair enjoy a romantic getaway to New York, where Tommy is seen kissing Rosemary. Returning home, Rosemary confronts Antony and tells him ‘time is running out’ on their romance.

Yet as the couple argue in the middle of the field, Anthony admits: ‘I don’t like a fight.’ 

‘Well, who does?’ Rosemary replies, before her love interest quips: ‘Half of Ireland. Just not me.’

But the joke that Irish people like to fight hit the wrong note with some social media users. One wrote: ‘If you can get past the woeful ‘Oirish’ accents, there seems to be a lot more problems with the portrayal of the Irish here.’ 

The Irish Times film critic Donald Clarke noted: ‘Ha, ha, ha. The Irish are really violent. That’s the joke, you see. Now, that you mention it, the more I watch of this, the more I am tempted to punch somebody.’

TALKING TO A DONKEY 

Jamie's character Anthony is eager to propose to his neighbour Rosemary (played by Emily), but the farmer is certainly nervous. He is seen constantly putting it off despite having a ring already sorted and even captured preparing by talking to a donkey (pictured)

Jamie’s character Anthony is eager to propose to his neighbour Rosemary (played by Emily), but the farmer is certainly nervous. He is seen constantly putting it off despite having a ring already sorted and even captured preparing by talking to a donkey (pictured)

'The accents are the least of it,' one viewer (pictured) wrote following the scene, while questioning the production team's outline

‘The accents are the least of it,’ one viewer (pictured) wrote following the scene, while questioning the production team’s outline

Jamie’s character Anthony is eager to propose to his neighbour Rosemary (played by Emily), but the farmer is certainly nervous. He is seen constantly putting it off despite having a ring already sorted. 

In one scene, he starts with the line: ‘We’re known to each other quite a while now…’ 

However, it’s soon discovered that the farmer is speaking to a donkey, with a passerby laughing at the antics.

‘The accents are the least of it,’ one viewer wrote following the scene. 

Questioning the production team’s outline, she wrote: ‘We need to depict modern rural Ireland. Wrap the woman in a shawl, smear dirt on her face. 

‘Make everyone emotionally stunted, obsessed with land. Make the man a bumbling fool talking to donkeys. Make the American cool.’

LACK OF IRISH ACTORS

From Emily Blunt's Britishness to Christopher Walken (pictured) being from America, some viewers quickly took issue with the lack of Irish actors in the production

From Emily Blunt’s Britishness to Christopher Walken (pictured) being from America, some viewers quickly took issue with the lack of Irish actors in the production

Reaction: One person wrote: 'What in the name of God is this. Cause there isn’t enough wonderful Irish actors that we STILL have to dish out roles to American and British ones with excruciating accents. One to miss for sure.'

Reaction: One person wrote: ‘What in the name of God is this. Cause there isn’t enough wonderful Irish actors that we STILL have to dish out roles to American and British ones with excruciating accents. One to miss for sure.’

While one of the leading A-listers in the film, Jamie Dornan, 38, is from Belfast – even admitting he grew up not too far from where the rom-com was shot – the other actors are decidedly less Irish.

From Emily Blunt’s Britishness to Christopher Walken being from America, some viewers quickly took issue with the lack of Irish actors in the production.

One person wrote: ‘What in the name of God is this. Cause there isn’t enough wonderful Irish actors that we STILL have to dish out roles to American and British ones with excruciating accents. One to miss for sure.’

Another questioned: ‘Could #WildMountainThyme really be a biting satire? Because in the year of our Lord 2020 surely the Americans haven’t made a Darby O’Gill era romcom with Far & Away accents and an American cast pretending to be Irish?’

American actor Jon Hamm is also in the film but since he plays someone from New York, he escapes any similar criticism.