GENTLE comedies that warm your heart and restore your faith in humanity.

British filmmakers just seem to have a knack for making them.

Hollywood may have its mega budgets and slick production values but occasionally you want the quirky charm of something like Fisherman’s Friends.

Chris Foggin’s film tells the true story of a group of lifelong pals from Port Isaac, Cornwall, who suddenly became pop stars when they are discovered by London music industry exec Danny (Daniel Mays from Mother’s Day).

Danny encounters the fishermen and shanty-style choral group – led by the emotionally-guarded Jim (James Purefoy) – during a stag do in the remote Cornish village where life runs at a very different pace to the Big Smoke. But when Danny is pranked by his boss Troy (Noel Clarke) into trying to get the group into a recording studio he finds himself re-evaluating his priorities.

Fisherman’s Friends explores the highs, lows and many fish out of water moments in the run-up to the singers signing a major record deal and becoming the first traditional folk act to land a UK top 10 album. (It really did happen in 2010 and you can still see them regularly perform in Port Isaac in the summer).

The film certainly follows a formula and ticks off all the boxes from Danny’s inevitable romance with Jim’s daughter Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton) to the city boy of course discovering the error of his ways putting friendship and community above fame and fortune. But it is so well done and is such an endearing story that you can forgive that.

Until now filmmaker Chris Foggin’s best known work was as second unit director on Richard Ayoade’s The Double and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End but Fisherman’s Friends shows he was ready to take the helm.

His movie comes across as a love letter to Cornwall from the rugged charm and idiosyncratic qualities of the sea swept land to the grinning, rosy cheeked, bearded, Proper Job ale-drinking fishermen themselves. You just want to be sat in the pub with them soaking it all up.

Daniel Mays turns his character Danny into a likeable everyman, Tuppence Middleton is convincing as strong single mum Alwyn holding her own in a male dominated environment and James Purefoy is perfectly cast as stubborn, cynical community stalwart Jim.

But the motley ensemble are great as a whole too from David Hayman’s Jago, who always has a twinkle in his eye, to I, Daniel Blake’s Dave Johns’ affable Leadville.

RATING: 8/10