Matchmaker [1958]

As she does in The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Janeane Garofalo proves she's a capable leading lady--beautiful, charming, self-effacing, and what used to be referred to as sharp as a tack. Garofalo plays Marcy, aide to dim Massachusetts senator McGlory (Jay O. Sanders). Denis Leary is appropriately slimy as a fellow aide. The senator and Nick dispatch Marcy to the remote (and fictitious) Irish town of Ballinagra, where she's supposed to unearth relatives to use in the senator's PR campaign. Along the way, Marcy not only encounters the eccentric locals, but finds herself in the maelstrom of the town's annual matchmaking festival. The single Marcy inadvertently catches the eye of the movie's eponymous matchmaker Dermot (a captivating Milo O'Shea). Dermot senses sparks between Marcy and the equally cynical, recently returned local boy, Sean (David O'Hara), once a successful journalist who's returned home to work on a book. The intimacies of the small town, the relationships between the locals, and the dialogue are credible and engaging. Look for beautiful cinematography and music, too. Also notable is the movie's ability to convey the feel of a foreign film while injecting humor that's both sarcastically American and yet Irish in trademark. --N.F. Mendoza

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