Sunday, May 17, 2009

The MatchMaker

The MatchMaker; Romantic comedy, USA/ Ireland/ UK, 1997; D: Mark Joffe, S: Janeane Garofalo, David O'Hara, Milo O'Shea, Jay O. Sanders, Denis Leary

Grouchy Marcy is an insignificant assistant of Senator McGlory in Boston. In order for McGlory to gain support from Irish voters, she is appointed to go to Ireland and track his ancestors. She finds a place in a washed out hotel and figures that a matchmaking festival is under way. Former reporter Sean is also staying in the hotel. The local matchmaker, the old Dermot, tries to match Marcy and Sean, but she refuses. She discovers that there are no relatives of the Senator in the village, so McGlory himself arrives in order to at least make a promotional video there. Marcy returns to Boston but realizes she fell in love for Sean. He visits and kisses her.

"The MatchMaker" is a sympathetically-modest love comedy in which the main role is played by otherwise excellent supporting actress Janeane Garofalo. She often delivers better performances than the films she stars in, like the one of the FBI agent in "Clay Pigeons", but she was never world wide massively popular, and thus in this film it was somehow surprisingly achieved that she looks - as almost the only woman in a dominantly male Irish city - like a desirable beauty. Truth be said, the exposition is slightly banal: Marcy arrives late on the bus so the driver calls her "Miss Late" while a dog urinates on her bag. Still, the film gains steam with time, especially in her intriguing first encounter with Sean whom she at first considers a hillbilly when she spots him taking a bath in her bathroom. The rhythm of the story is slow and so it's good that here and there a few emotional scenes shows up. One of them is when Sean, carried away by the landscapes and nature, tries to kiss Marcy, but she doesn't want to, and the other one is when the old matchmaker dies in his house observing the photos of all the happy couples he brought together. If the authors affirmed the romance and the heroine with more focus and inspiration, the film could have been even better.


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