THE MATCHMAKER 1997, 97 minutes
With St. Patrick’s soon upon us, Irish rom-coms can be a tricky thing. John Ford’s 1952 classic The Quiet Man now comes across as so brutal it should have a restraining order slapped on it. Nor has the recent crop been all that promising. Wild Mountain Thyme has some good moments, mostly connected to Emily Blunt’s singing, but Christopher Walken’s Lucky Charms accent is so cringe inducing, one wishes he had just played his role as a New Yorker retired to Ireland.
That said, The Matchmaker certainly isn’t perfect. It’s gratuitously potty-mouthed and depends too much on slapstick, but when it connects, it’s wonderful. Janeane Garofalo is at her acerbic best as a senatorial aide sent to Ireland to boost her boss’s appeal to Irish-American voters. Arriving amidst a raucous bridal fair, Garofalo tries to find relatives of the Senator, only to cross paths with roguish local matchmaker Milo O’Shea, who inveigles her into the romantic jostling. When the Senator arrives with his shameless campaign manager Dennis Leary expecting a media event, Irish and Irish-American cultures collide and find a Hibernian kind of love along the way.
BE ADVISED–– This film is rated R, with smoking, drinking, fraternal mayhem, unsubtle sexual innuendo, and LOTS of profanity (Saxon words pronounced in Irish and Boston accents)