Shoplifters of the World is focused on a bunch of friends who are huge fans of the Manchester group – though when the band break up in 1987, one of the characters holds up a radio station and demands they play Smiths songs.
The film’s trailer went viral last month in the wake of the film’s US release, with many of the group’s fans reacting in horror.
“Someone appears to have thought taking the plot of the Alan Partridge film and setting it the music of The Smiths is a good idea,” one joked at the time, while another asked: “What the everliving fuck is this[?]”.
But despite the lukewarm reaction, it has attracted the praise of the man who penned the film’s musical inspiration in the first place.
“I laughed, I cried, I ate my own head,” Morrissey told MorrisseyCentral.com about the film. “The Smiths’ past still sounds like today’s frustrations and tomorrow’s liberations.”
Despite Morrissey’s endorsement, the film has attracted high-profile detractors such as critic Mark Kermode, who said: “Well, I’ll say this: Shoplifters of the World is EXACTLY the movie that Morrissey deserves.”
Shoplifters of the World stars Joe Manganiello, Ellar Coltrane, Helena Howard and Elena Kampouris, and is written and directed by Stephen Kijak. The film features 20 tracks from the band’s back catalogue.
Meanwhile, producer Stephen Street – who worked closely with The Smiths and produced Morrissey’s debut solo studio album ‘Viva Hate’ – recently told NME for Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?! that he would consider working with the frontman again despite their falling out.