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Marcy is an assistant to Senator John McGlory, who is having problems with a re-election campaign. Desperate for Irish votes, McGlory's chief of staff Nick sends Marcy to Ireland to trace McGlory's relatives or ancestors. Marcy arrives at the village of Ballinagra when it is preparing for an annual Matchmaking Festival. A well-dressed, handsome and single young lady, she becomes the center of attention for two professional matchmakers, Dermot and Millie, as well as for bartender Sean. Written by
This sunny comedy, directed with great verve by Mark Joffe, kept reminding me of the whimsical comedy "Local Hero" by Bill Forsyth. The film cashes in the folklore of Ireland as no other film, in recent memory does. "The Matchmaker" will charm, as well as disarm all those viewers looking for a nice time at the movies by immersing in its wonderful spell and taking the trip of discovery to Ireland.
The story relies on all the color of the Emerald Island and its people. Where could there be a matchmaking festival, but if not in Ireland? The local characters live in a magical world. In a way, those people having lived in the area where the film takes place, are richer in traditions than we city folk are. It's a sobering experience for Marcy, the otherwise cynical girl that goes searching for her boss' roots in the old country and ends up being enchanted by what she finds there. It's an experience she will not forget easily.
Jeanane Garofalo is wonderful as Marcy. This actress always projects an intelligent aura into everything she plays in films. Milo O'Shea is always amazing in anything he plays; he is no exception on this film. Mr. O'Shea is simply marvelous. David O'Hara, Paul Hickey, Maria Boyle Kennedy, Saffron Burrows and Denis Leary, among others, do excellent work under Mr. Joffe's direction.
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