DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Vicar of Dibley - A Holy Wholly Happy Ending
The Vicar of Dibley - A Holy Wholly Happy Ending
BBC Worldwide // Unrated // October 9, 2007
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 25, 2007 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Series:

After running for twelve years Dawn French (French and Saunders) and writer Richard Curtis (Notting Hill) have wrapped up their hilarious comedy series The Vicar of Dibley.  Though it had a long run, there were only 24 episodes produced over the years including a few Comic Relief specials.  The up side to this sluggish production schedule is that most of the shows are very well thought out and filled with comic moments.  Now BBC Video has release the final two installments of the show in region one as The Vicar of Dibley:  A Holy Wholly Happy Ending.   Unfortunately the first of these is a rather tepid uninspired episode that plays like a typical sitcom.  Luckily the show gets back into form for the finale with is an excellent and fitting end to the series.

Geraldine Granger (Dawn French) is the quirky, the Vicar in a small English town.  The village, naturally in a sitcom, is populated with an assortment oddball, goofy characters that are charming and good-hearted despite their proclivities.  There's Frank, the incredibly boring older man who always has a long, involved and pointless story to tell, his friend Jim who stutters, and Owen a lonely farmer who is a little too friendly with his livestock.  The town is rounded out by David Horton, the rich man of the area and his dim-witted son Hugo and his even dimmer wife Alice.

The first episode on this disc is pretty disappointing.  It plays like a typical by-the-numbers sitcom.  The Vicar is angry at all of the Londoners who have been buying up cottages in the village to use as a weekend getaway.  Her attitude changes when she meets the newest "London bastard" Harry (Richard Armitage), a tall, handsome, man who asks her out to dinner.  A whirlwind romance is the result.  Things come to a screeching halt when Geraldine sees Harry a tall blond.  He's holding her hand and tells her that he loves her.  Does she ask him who the woman is?  No, that's what a normal person would do and it would cut the running time of the show in half.  Instead she follows them and does the typical things that people on TV do in these situations.  None of it was funny.

It was also a bit hard to suspend my disbelief.  I just couldn't buy that gorgeous Harry would instantly fall in love with Geraldine who is short, obese, and a decade older than he is.  He doesn't even get to know her before he proposes, just mutters something about love at first sight.  Yeah, right.

Just when I had decided that the series had jumped the shark, the final episode revived my love of the program.  This last hurrah is a classic, and terribly funny.  When everyone in the village hears that Harry and Geraldine are going to be married, they pull together and come up with the perfect gift:  They are going to plan and arrange the entire wedding for her.  Of course the vicar doesn't want this assortment of mad and deranged people to mess up her big day, but they're so sincere that she can't turn them down.

The plans are coming along well.  Frank has decided to read from the book of Mathew at the ceremony.  When Geraldine asks him which part, he calmly replies "all of it."  Owen is going to film the wedding, in the style of Saving Private Ryan, and Jim has written a song for the occasion too:

I wish you happiness and joy
And countless years together
And pray that things will never get
As bad as Paul and Heather

While things may have started well,
Many a marriage is made in Hell
With fingers crossed, let's be optimistic.
That yours won't be a divorce statistic

Disasters such as Charles and Di
Make us wonder:  Weddings?  Why!?

At this point she stops them.  Of course Alice is the maid of honor and is also making the wedding dress.  Her first idea is to make a pirate outfit to symbolize Geraldine boarding Harry's ship and stealing his heart.  Of course her outfit is a nice suit, just like David Tennant wears in Doctor Who, just as if she was a Time Lord and blessing their union for all eternity.  You'll have to see the other bride's maids to believe them.

This final episode was just great.  All of the main characters had some screen time and they all were hilarious.  The show was its old wacky self, with the over the top characters being just as outrageous as ever.  It was a little sad at the end, knowing that the series was finished, but you couldn't really ask for a better conclusion.

The DVD:


Audio:

The show is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, which is perfectly adequate for this type of show.  The dialog was clear with no noticeable hiss or noise.  The music during the credits sounds full and rich.  There did not seem to be many, if any, use of stereo effect.  There are no subtitles.

Video:

The 1.78:1 anamorphically enhanced image wasn't awful, but it is not very good either.  The lines are not crisp, and the backgrounds are not as clear as they should be.  Whites that are heavily lighted tend to bloom, and there's some heavy handed edge enhancement in a few scenes.  A slightly below average presentation.

Extras:

Unfortunately, they didn't include the Comic Relief special from 2007 which aired three months after the 'final' episode.  They do include The Vicar of Dibley Story, an hour long documentary that looks back at the history of the show with interviews of the cast and creators.  It's a nice overview of the program that includes some of the best scenes from the show.

Final Thoughts:

The Vicar of Dibley is a wild and outrageous sitcom that's a lot of fun.  The two final episodes are presented here, and while the penultimate one is surprisingly uninspired, the last show is filled with laughs from start to finish.  The documentary that's included with the disc is a nice recap of the whole series with clips from most of the memorable scenes.  A funny show that's worth watching.  Recommended.

Popular Reviews
1. Halloween: The Complete Collection - Limited Deluxe Edition
2. Transformers: Age of Extinction
3. Grace Kelly Collection (Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief, Magombo, The Country Girl, The Bridges of Toko-Ri, High Society)
4. Once Upon a Time in America: Extended Director's
5. Ghost in the Shell: 25th Anniversary Edition
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
7. Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow
8. Macbeth: The Criterion Collection (1971)
9. Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 1
10. Dragon Ball Z: Season 7


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use