Scottish Mussel (2015)

dir. Talulah Riley

The mere existence of Scottish Mussel beggars belief. Talulah Riley, star of St Trinian’s and twice ex-wife of Elon Musk, decided to write, direct, and star in a romantic comedy about a Glaswegian slacker and his zany sidekicks who enter the high-stakes world of illegal mussel pearl theft. Our protagonist falls hopelessly in love with Riley’s English upper-class conservationist when he sees her in a bikini – in fairness, she has so little personality that it would be difficult to build an attraction based on actual compatibility or chemistry. Humour is provided courtesy of dimwitted homophobia – a man wearing pink, how novel! – while mild peril is contributed by Glaswegian thugs and Ukrainian gangsters embroiled in the aforementioned high-stakes world of illegal mussel pearl theft. The amount of excruciatingly poor Scottish accents is keenly balanced by the amount of absurd side plots, including the schoolteacher and librarian who confess their love for one another, demanding serious audience investment after about two dilute scenes together. Why Riley believed anyone would root for the bumbling main characters, who seem to feel they’re owed vast riches and comforts whilst putting in no effort whatsoever, and also seem to think it’s acceptable to hang around a school playground for extended periods of time, is anyone’s guess. Why Scottish Mussel exists is anyone’s guess.

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