Adapted from Spike Milligan’s 1963 novel, this 2001 feature sounds funny on paper: with the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921, the village of Puckoon is summarily divided in half, leaving the local pub a maze of barbed wire and the Catholic church unable to bury its dead in the town’s northerly graveyard. On-screen, however, the comedy is so forced—with mugging, goofy sound effects, and the like—that you may feel like you’re being clobbered with the Blarney Stone. Richard Attenborough is the omniscient narrator, who’s continually interrupted by queries and complaints from the characters; it’s a familiar gag, and like everything else in the film it’s beaten into the ground. Terence Ryan is responsible for the screenplay and the leaden direction; with Sean Hughes, Daragh O’Malley, John Lynch, Elliott Gould as a Jewish doctor, and Griff Rhys Jones channeling the spirit of Terry-Thomas as a stiff-necked English colonel. 82 min.