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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.64%
Worth A Look: 22.73%
Pretty Bad: 4.55%
Total Crap: 0%

2 reviews, 10 user ratings

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Matchmaker, The (1997)
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by Thom

"tears and laughter is always bittersweet medicine"
3 stars

And nobody knows more about tears and laughter than the Irish.

Janeane Garofolo plays Marcy Tizard, assistant campaign manager for Senator John McGlory of Boston. His campaign his flagging and he needs the Irish vote to win so he sends Marcy to Ireland to dig up some family for a campaign-winning photo op.

That was a pretty convenient way to get Marcy into the path of the love interest. Marcy is a jaded New Yorker who wouldn't like rural charm if it was on sale at Zabar's. When she arrives at a small Irish village where the McGlory's are supposedly from, she finds herself in the middle of an annual matchmaking festival.

Single Girl, matchmaking festival ... do you see where this is going. Naturally, she is just there to do her job. And she's too smart to give in to the goings on of these fine country folk. At one point she even expresses the need to fax something. And her eyes light up when she discovers that there is indeed a fax machine she can use. It reminded me of Private Benjamin when Judy Benjamin is walking in the rain with her troop asking for the comforts of her former life, "I wanna wear high heels. I wanna go out to lunch." This is the 90's version and it's funny that Marcy stops short of saying email (I guess marketing thought too few viewers had email in 1997) but does say "My computer won't even work here." We knew what she meant.

As you can imagine, she does meet someone and it's the atypical, not love at first sight, thing. Because she's strong and stubborn and has an attitude from the Cloisters to Battery Park and he's strong and stubborn and has an attitude from here to the other side of the rainbow they are doomed to fall in love. And it happens in that roundabout way where they don't realize they like each other until stuff happens to put obstacles between them and they realize they are trying to get TO each other, not AWAY even though she pushes him away everytime she see's him.

The movie is a romance with a happy ending but is laced with a melancholy typical of the Irish. Joy is felt in the presence of pain. Defeat co-exists with victory, every rose has a thorn.
Garofolo shows that odd side of her again where she comes off as sensitive and needy but jaded and world-weary all at the same time. She plays this character more like she has given up hope than that this is the first time cupid has pierced her heart with his unforgiving arrow.

The quality of Marcy and Sean's attraction is that of two people who have burned through the bullshit and have learned to turn themselves off when they feel natural affection because they know it will only lead to pain and heartbreak and when you only have a sliver of a heart left, you can't afford to let it break any more. But underneath it all is a heart burning with passion and worthy of the supportive, nurturing and exploratory love it has given out so many times before to all the wrong people.

The film gets off to a rough start but once you get past the rather flimsy opening sequence where they establish the plot, the rest of the movie unfolds with humor, hope and love.

Dennis Leary has a supporting role as Nick the campaign manager. Leary's performance as the the jerk of mythic proportions was unconvincing but passable. In the final scene, Nick tells Marcy what he really thinks about the Senator while wearing a live microphone, but the moment passes with no meaning and is unnecessary baggage for the teary and joyful ending of the unexpected reunion of the star-crossed lovers.

Think "oh my god, its you, I thought I'd never see you again!"
"I know, me either, but I had to be with you."

A hearbreaking and heartwarming romantic tragi-comedy. You'll laugh through your tears. Watch this movie to believe in love against the odds, foolish though your jaded heart knows it is.

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originally posted: 12/16/99 18:01:04
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User Comments

8/08/17 Suzanne Garofolo was delightful and the scenery was superb 4 stars
11/22/08 Shaun Wallner Great Film! 3 stars
9/12/06 Kaileen It was hilarious. very well done 5 stars
2/10/05 Jeff Anderson MY IRISH EYES ARE SMILING AT THIS FILM! Janeane Garofalo is a delight to watch! 5 stars
4/09/04 Anas beautiful movie 5 stars
2/16/02 Kizza Really cute 4 stars
5/17/01 Riley Hodder Enjoyed the light comedy 4 stars
8/28/98 Johny Considering I find both Leary and Garofalo very funny, I was sad to see this suck 2 stars
8/25/98 Mister Whoopee I like Janeane Garofalo. I really do. 4 stars
8/25/98 Miss Stress it was cute but the irish accent got to me after awhile. 4 stars
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  04-Oct-1997 (R)



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