When Brendan Met Trudy
dir Kieron J Walsh scr Roddy Doyle
with Peter McDonald, Flora Montgomery, Marie Mullen, Pauline McLynn, Don Wycherley, Maynard Eziashi, Eileen Walsh, Gabriel Byrne
release UK 25.May.01
BBC 00/Ireland 1h35 3 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Breathless. Trudy and Brendan (Montgomery and McDonald) do a little jig while parodying a certain Godard flick...
Doyle takes a stab at producing and screenwriting with this breezy little rom-com about two opposites falling in love in Dublin amid a sea of movie references. Brendan (McDonald) is a mild-mannered, film-obsessed school teacher who falls for sexy thief Trudy (Montgomery) against all odds. He gives her a love for old movies; she teaches him how to break and enter.

The film's charm just about overcomes its ludicrous silliness. There's absolutely no serious subtext here, despite several issues lingering just beneath the surface. It's just an excuse for the actors to cavort around referring to every kind of film from Breathless and John Wayne to Trainspotting and John Woo (the frequent recreations of classic scenes are quite clever and funny, including the opening Sunset Boulevard pastiche). McDonald and Montgomery are thoroughly engaging, keeping us laughing even if we never quite believe the romance. And Walsh's direction is lively and thoroughly entertaining. This is a sit-back-and-smile romance with nothing to challenge the brain.

[15--themes, language] 15.Nov.00 lff

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall