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Here's one for the Girls Night-In
14 October 2005 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Not a bad movie. There are plenty worse ways to spend 90 minutes! Movie is comprised of a number of sub-stories about the lives and loves of the regular passengers of a bus that is used to bring workers between Dublin city and their homes in a small Irish country village (Doon-something-or-other) every weekend. It is based on the novel of the same name by Maeve Binchy, the world famous Irish author. The device of the bus is not a bad one, and the stories of the passengers interweave in a good way. The stories are pulled together into an almost coherent whole by the romance of the central character; the bus driver.

This is not a bad "chick flick", but I think it would bore most men senseless! Looking at the ratings, viewers seem to love it or hate it, with most of them loving it.

Anyway, it has worthy heroes an heroines to anchor the stories. However, in a certain sense, it is the type of novel that is not suitable for adaptation to the screen, as it has no action to speak of and it deals mainly with the emotional conflicts of a rather large number of characters in a short period of time (90 mins). Such stories are best confined to books, where the reader can access the interior dialog of the characters, whereas that dialog is almost impossible to display on screen.

Nonetheless, the picture gives a pretty good exposition of Irish society in recent times, but things have changed a lot since the book was written, and the current social relevance is limited. Perhaps most important, it is mercifully not an "Oirish" production, by which I mean it escapes stage-Irish portrayals of Irish characters, unlike many (most?) Irish productions that succumb to the temptation of trading on stereotypes of what Irish people are supposed to be like.

The Irish countryside is shown off to pretty good effect, though more might have been made of it. For some reason, I thought that the photography was somehow too soft-focused and lacking in sharpness/clarity. It looks a bit faded as a result.


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