Extra Ordinary, directed by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, stands as a charming debut feature film. Set in small-town Ireland, Extra Ordinary centers on Rose (Maeve Higgins) as she is trying to forget her paranormal past. She spent her childhood helping her father on an, apparently popular, paranormal television series. In the process of filming that series, Rose’s father met an untimely end, leaving Rose scared to face that side of her life, opting instead for a humdrum existence as a driving instructor. Maeve Higgins brings a wonderful mix of pathos and wit to her role, grounded in the sense that she has lived for years of loneliness.
Rose, having ignored all requests to help various townsfolk with paranormal woes, finally gives-in to an eligible widower, Martin Martin (Barry Ward). You see, Martin Martin’s wife has been tormenting him, poltergeist-style for years. In Martin Martin, Rose finds a kindred spirit, a person equally beaten down by life. Now, don’t get the wrong impression, all of this is told in a charming, light-hearted, sometimes silly way.
The final element of the story is Christian Winter (Will Forte), an American transplant, who just so happens to be a one-hit-wonder. In an effort to reclaim his glory days and write a new hit album, he decides to turn to the dark arts. Forte’s performance is a bit broader, over-the-top, compared to that of Higgens and Ward’s, but he serves the antagonist to move the plot forward.
All in all, Extra Ordinary is a brisk comedy, often witty and playful, occasionally vulgar and brash, but always good-hearted, with core characters you can root for. Although Extra Ordinary doesn’t quite rise to the heights of Ghostbusters or Shaun of the Dead, Extra Ordinary should carve out a solid cult following over the years.