By Alan Flood
Get up and Go is a day in the life film which follows best friends Alex and Coilin as they meander their way around Dublin City. Mingling with their wider circle of friends in trendy cafes and gloomy bars as they struggle with the every-man issues such as unrequited love, job loss, job hunting and, in Alex’s Case: the rush to make the evening ferry to England so as to escape your recently impregnated girlfriend and a doomed life of pram pushing.
Alex and Coilin, we get the impression, have been friends for a long time, Get up to Go lands in the realms of films such as Adam & Paul and Withnail & I in regards to the wandering brothers in arms. The friendship at its core being a marriage of convenience more so than a common camaraderie or joy in each other’s company.
Peter Coogan plays Alex, a recently laid off cinema employee who’s mission for the day in question is to procure enough cash to get the ferry (not a plane, strangely enough) to London. Killian Scott plays timid comedian Coilin who we suspect is some way off his big break. He is aiming to firstly get a gig and then woo his soul mate Lola, played by Gemma-Leah Devereux, who couldn’t be less interested as she has all her own chaos lined up for the day.
The opening twenty minutes of the film are slow as the two protagonists ponder their plans driving from one location to another. But the film unexpectedly begins to shift into gear as other characters enter the frame and we begin to observe a group of people who are friends by default, we suspect. Friends because they’ve been friends all their adult life and it’s here that Get up and Go begins to reveal a heart and depth at its centre; even if portions of the film suffer from some Friends TV culture, characters sitting around in pubs and cafes all day, apparently coming and going from jobs as they please.
The film would have suffered further if it weren’t for the anchoring performances of Killian Scott and Peter Coogan. Scott is lovably subtle as the awkward loveless loser Coilin and Coogan carries over the bravado and charisma of Love/Hate’s Fran without that characters psychotic side. The script, although a story we’ve seen in Irish film many times before, moves forward with purpose and offers more than a few laughs and intriguing scenes such as when both protagonists are on the point of ‘sealing the deal’ as Alex describes it but choose not to for their own reasons. The third key character in the film is Dublin City and Vladimir Trivic’s hand held camera captures Dublin like we know it from nights out and calls to mind another Dublin set film, Once.
Get up and Go is an enjoyable film with a couple of laughs and recognisable, if not likeable characters along the way. Its flaws are its lack of originality and the fact that it’s a little light weight in parts. However there is a heart at its core and its scrutiny of people in their mid to late twenties who are as unsure about life as they probably were in their mid to late teens is one that’s worth your while.