[MOVIE REVIEW]Irish Romance Not a ClassicWhen Harry met Sally, it took 13 years for true love to blossom, in the 1989 film by Rob Reiner. But Brendan and Trudy were struck by Cupid much more quickly in the soon-to-be-released Irish romantic comedy, "When Brendan Met Trudy." It took only a few seconds for Brendan, a fainthearted Dublin schoolteacher, to fall head over heels for Trudy.
Brendan (Peter McDonald) is not as enthusiastic about his vocation. He is constantly getting his pupils' names wrong and feels rather indifferent toward the class. Despite his addiction to classic films, his own life lacks the drama of his movie hero, John Wayne. His free time is spent watching old films and singing in a local choir.
But one day he meets Trudy (Flora Montgomery), a carefree woman with a high-risk profession: robbery. He is smitten, and it does not take long for Brendan to agree to Trudy's unorthodox request: that he passionately sing hymns in crowded public places as proof of his love for her. They break up at one point, but love predictably conquers all. McDonald and Montgomery really succeed in bringing their characters to life.
But the director Kieron J. Walsh and the scriptwriter Roddy Doyle have taken on too much for the film's 95 minute running time. Doyle and Walsh try to play on Brendan's film obsession; as seen in the intentionally familiar-sounding title, this film is full of deliberate references to past films. The movie's opening shot features Brendan collapsing on the ground amid heavy rainfall, weary from his state of depression. This is similar to a scene in "Sunset Boulevard" (1950), and the borrowed shot was an homage to the director Billy Wilder, according to Doyle. But these tributes to past screen glory overshadow any innovation this new film might try to capture. If you can recognize all the allusions, which number as many as 12, this film can be an effective concise history of cinema. But if classic film is not your thing, you may want to skip this one.
The director also overextends himself when he tries to include a heavy-handed message about the dangers of modern technology.
These failed attempts at a grander meaning aside, "When Brendan Met Trudy" is still a pleasant choice, filled with bits of humor. Though its release has been delayed to make way for some Hollywood blockbusters, this Irish film is a good choice for romantic comedy lovers. Scheduled for release July 21 in Korea.
by Chun Su-jin