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Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie

M: offensive language

Spoiler alert

This page outlines how the classification criteria were applied. We do our best to discuss the content while avoiding spoilers, but please avoid reading this information if you do not want to learn anything about the content of this movie.

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie poster

Date registered: 16/06/2014

About the film

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie is the feature-length adaptation of Brendan O'Carroll's award-winning BBC television series Mrs Brown's Boys.

The comedy is set in Dublin and follows market-trader Agnes Brown. Agnes' fruit and vegetable business comes under threat of closure from a retail property developer who hires Russian gangsters to pressure Agnes into closing her stall. At the same time, Agnes receives a letter from the revenue department stating she has a large historical tax bill that needs to be cleared in order to save her business.

With the odds stacked against her, the community comes together to support Agnes in her drive to keep her market stall open. Agnes and her family are assisted in their fight by a motley crew of blind ninjas, an alcoholic solicitor, Agnes' eccentric friend Winnie, and a barrister with Tourette Syndrome.

A still image from the film - Agnes and her army of pram-pushing mammies

Classification criteria: Sex

The film contains the occasional use of mild sexual references. Agnes at times uses crude phrases and sexual innuendo, and often responds to a seemingly innocent statement in a way that turns it into innuendo. For example, while in court a lawyer asks Agnes if she would answer some questions, "You don't mind a little examination do you?" Agnes cheekily responds, "Not as long as I can leave my clothes on". Agnes' barrister suffers from Tourette Syndrome. While in court his condition worsens and causes him to use some colourful language.

A still image from the film - Agnes wearing a cheeky expression

Classification criteria: Violence

The film contains several low-level acts of violence and threatening activity - heavily exaggerated for comedic effect. For instance, Agnes hits a Russian gangster on the hand with a wooden mallet for threatening to close down her market stall. When Agnes refuses to budge, the Russian gangsters shoot their guns at Agnes and her friends as they chase them through the streets of Dublin. None of the bullets hit the characters.

A still image from the film - Angnes and the wooden mallet

Classification criteria: Highly offensive language

The film contains a lot of offensive language. Agnes in particular uses the word 'fuck' and its derivatives extensively, albeit with a comedic Irish accent that softens the expletives. 'Feck' is used interchangeably with 'fuck' by many of the characters, and there are occasional other less offensive words used such as 'wanker', 'bitch' or 'bastard'.

However, this language is almost always the basis for laughs: the fact that Agnes is an elderly matriarch who swears this much and makes sexual jokes is the comedy foundation of the film. The language is not likely to disturb young viewers, used in this way, and the risk of emulation in New Zealand audiences is lessened by the over-the-top characters and idiosyncratic Irish setting.

A still image from the film - Angnes with her hand over Winnie's mouth to stop her speaking

Decision summary

The dominant effect of Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie is a coarse comedy with frequent warm-hearted or poignant moments contrived to showcase a comedian as he plays the part of a loudmouthed working-class Irish mother.

The unrestricted availability of this publication is not likely to be injurious to the public good. The film contains a small number of sexual jokes, and quite a high extent of offensive language, some that would ordinarily be considered highly offensive. While the sexual humour and language is not intended for children, this material is not likely to disturb them or greatly affect their development or socialisation. The material is softened by the very sentimental storylines and the comedy context, as well as the very Irish pronunciation and farcical and contrived situations.

The sexual references and offensive language do not need restriction but do require a recommendation that the material is more suitable for mature audiences 16 years of age and over. There is therefore no limitation on the freedom of expression outlined in s14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

Contact the Information Unit if you require further information on a classification decision.

M label
M: offensive language