The Next Best Thing Since Pump Up The Volume?

There haven’t been that many big-screen films made about pirate radio. The only ones that come to mind, except for the slew of documentaries produced in the last decade or so, are On the Air Live with Captain Midnight (1979 – extra-cheese, please!), Sir! No Sir! (2005 – more of a documentary about internal military resistance to Vietnam, it highlights the role of Dave Rabbit and Radio First Termer quite prominently), and, probably the best-known of the bunch, Pump Up the Volume (1990 – a cult classic).
None of the above movies (save for the documentaries) are big on facts; to wit, the FCC does not chase people around broadcasting from Jeeps in big orange bread trucks with “F.C.C.” stenciled on the side of them.
So I guess much the same can be expected from The Boat That Rocked (2009), which is now in rolling-release (first in the United Kingdom in April and finally in the U.S. two months from today). What makes it notable is its writer/director (Richard Curtis) and its relatively star-studded cast (Kenneth Branagh, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans). In addition, to my knowledge, The Boat That Rocked is the first feature film about the heady days of 1960’s European offshore pirate radio.
Reportedly loosely based around the exploits of Radio Caroline, the trailers for the film seem to focus more on the wackiness of the on-ship atmosphere than the actual reasons for why folks risked their lives to bring rock and roll to western Europe. Reviews of the film are mixed, although its release has given journalists the impetus to go back and explore that unique period in radio history and talk to some of the actual people involved in the offshore pirate phenomenon. (They, too, give the movie mixed reviews.)
So far, The Boat That Rocked has pulled in between $20-30 million, which is about half the cost of its production. Not likely to be a summer blockbuster, I’ll still shell out the cost of admission, just because flicks like these are so few and far between.