Guest Author - Mary Ellen Sweeney
This film is in a sense quite old-fashioned. There is no scent of the Celtic Tiger, and for this reason, perhaps some reviewers were a bit tired with it. It is not about Ireland 2005.
When the Liverpudlians arrive in Clare for the music competitions, there is talk of the Beatles and there is a pair of free-spirited Yankee hippies mispronouncing bodhrán (though they play them well.) This sense of time and place---County Clare, Ireland, 1970---is very appealing and supplies an authenticity that is often lacking in big budget movies about Ireland.
This is a delightful movie. Likely it will win no big awards, at least none so big as the All-Ireland Traditional Music Competition, the event that draws the best Ceili bands from throughout the region and the world. It is this competition and the practicing and the music-making that make this movie so well worth watching. A full-blown Ceili band makes a lively party, and here we have, ahem, several of them to appreciate. There are sly bits of humor---some really funny uilleann pipe bits. Yes, Colm Meaney (Gee, just how long is his resume, anyway?) is a real prat and tiresome, but he gets his comeuppance, and so he is forgiven. It’s the part he’s been called upon to play, and he does it justice. As for the rest of the crew, well, there’s perfect harmony in the cast, and Andrea Corr (of the Irish band, “The Corrs”) is a perfect ingénue.
There’s a love story of course, more than one in fact…and old disappointments. There are several spills into the drink, which given the locale and the dearth of sunshine should elicit more squealing and goose pimples than passion, but hey, it’s the movies. Whatever it’s few shortcomings, “The Boys and Girl…” was a thoroughly enjoyable movie, with some good craic and a few delightful surprises, and one I would watch again especially for the listening.
Netflix has an impressive selection of Irish films to rent.
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