Papadopoulos & Sons
Forgettable, unconvincing Anglo-Greek comedy drama starring Stephen Dillane
Tales of black sheep family members losing the strictures of stuffy respectability have been legion and the forgettable Papadopoulos & Sons has nothing fresh to enliven the familiar formula. Predictable plotting, stilted performances and heart-tugging emotional manipulation all contribute to the feeling that this low-budget British effort might have been more effective as a television series.
Stephen Dillane must be among the most muted and unflamboyant actors in the business which makes him unlikely cast for the central role of multimillionaire Anglo-Greek businessman Harry Papdopoulos. A widower and father of three, he wanders around with only the absence of a rain cloud above his head to suggest how depressed and melancholy he is. The banking crisis and the prospect of financial ruin send him in search of his estranged older brother Spiros (played by Georges Corraface with all the twinkling life force of Anthony Quinn in his prime). The one remaining asset in Harry's portfolio is the Three Brothers fish-and-chip shop he once ran with Spiros. To keep a roof over his head and ensure one small source of revenue, Harry is obliged to play happy families with Spiros and swap his country mansion for a cramped new life living above the business. Could his darkest hour produce the silver lining that might make him a healthier, jollier chap who can savour the joy in living every day? You bet.
Writer/director Marcus Markou breezes through the material in search of easy laughs and bitter tears but fails to secure convincing performances from an able enough cast that includes an awkward Ed Stoppard as smooth talking, city slicker financial whizz kid Rob. Maybe they should have gone the whole hog and made it a musical?