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Is Wild Mountain Thyme a True Story?

December 11, 2020
3 min read

Both the story and the characters are equally idiosyncratic in John Patrick Shanley’s ‘Wild Mountain Thyme,’ but this isn’t really all that surprising. After all, the plot revolves around two neighboring farmers who must figure out their romantic and professional ambitions before it is too late. This unique rom-com is one that has piqued our interest, and we couldn’t help but wonder if it was inspired by real events. Here’s what we uncovered.

Is Wild Mountain Thyme Based on a True Story?

No, ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ is not based on a true story. Rather, it is a film adaptation of Shanley’s play called ‘Outside Mullingar,’ which he wrote about his own family. The director said, “Whenever I turn a play into a film, you have to wake yourself up from what we do as playwrights in the modern theater which is to create stories that may be big, but with small casts.” 

Speaking of the cast, ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ features some of the biggest names in the industry. Emily Blunt plays Rosemary Muldoon, who has had a crush on her neighbor, Anthony Reilly (Jamie Dornan), for the longest time. However, Reilly’s father (Christopher Walken) wants to sell their property to an American relative (John Hamm). Clearly, the story incorporates notions of family drama, romance, anguish, and the multiple vicissitudes of life, albeit through the lens of comedy.

While the premise is definitely not groundbreaking, it is Shanley’s vision that sets it apart. But it would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the specific style of story-telling employed in the movie is one that we don’t come across every day. Shanley addressed this and said that realism, as a concept, has stifled many narratives. Nonetheless, he iterated that there are all sorts of people in this world and that a variety of emotional ranges can be tapped into.

In an interview with Variety, Blunt said, “The cows almost speak in verse. They’re almost poetic in the way they communicate with each other. The beauty of John Patrick Shanley is he doesn’t straight-jacket you. He’s interested in what you’re going to bring. He’s not precious about his words. There’s a freedom on set.” Her costar also felt the same way.

Furthermore, Dornan explained what he loved about his role in an interview. The actor told Variety, “Let’s be honest: Anthony is probably on the spectrum in some way. He is unlike anyone I’ve ever played, but he has insecurities and an oddness and quirks within him that I felt I definitely possessed myself. I loved the opportunity to show that off and really heighten and explore and exploit my own weirdness, which I have plenty (of).”

Interestingly, when the film’s trailer dropped, both Blunt and Dornan were heavily criticized for their accents. (The latter was especially accosted since he is actually from Ireland). Talking about this phenomenon, Shanley stated that he has made this film for those people who want to go to Ireland. In fact, he told Blunt that nothing good would come from trying to make the Irish people love her accent.

Evidently, ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ is not your typical film. In fact, the plot is composed of quirky writing and distinctive characters. With an ensemble cast and a talented director backing the project, this fictional story is one that may just usher in a new era of wacky rom-coms.

Read More: Where To Stream Wild Mountain Thyme?

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