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 d... more »im 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« less
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 06/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to the Universal DVD edition of "The Matchmaker".....
Funny and romantic, sweet and charming, an unlikely but brillantly witty leading lady and the beauty of Ireland combine to make this little film a definate keeper! This one very much reminds me of those wonderful romantic screwball comedies of the 30's and 40's.
Marci Tizard(Janeane Garofalo) is sent on on assignment by her boss, a Senator from Boston Mass, who is in dire need of some help getting re-elected. The assignment...to find the Senator McGlory's relatives in a small Brigadoonesque village in Ireland. Marci lands smack dab in the middle of a matchmaking festival and must ward off suitors in her quest to find the senator's roots. The towns people are charming but quirky, and there is one in particular that gets under Marci's skin. A cynical ex-journalist(David O'Hara) matches wits with her and it's a match made in heaven(or Ireland).
Also starring is the wonderful Milo O'Shea as "The Matchmaker", who cleverly tries to bring these two together. The laughs are non stop and will leave you smiling for some time afterwards. It was directed by Mark Joffe and has a terrific atmospheric soundtrack as well.
There are a couple editions of this DVD and the one I am reviewing has a picture of Janeane Garofalo with the beautiful hills of Ireland in the background and it is in the middle of a white building. Milo O'shea is standing on the ground, the title is is red with a clover in the name. I describe it in detail because the tech info here differs on some aspects. The studio of production is Universal (not USA). The film which was shot on location in glorious Ireland has been given a beautiful transfer and may be viewed in widescreen(2.35:1) or the standard format. Excellent surround sound in DD5.1 lets you hear every detail. There's not alot in the way of extras, but there are some cast bios and filmographies and Closed Captioning in English as well as subtitles in French and Spanish and some theatrical trailers.
The film is rated R for some langauge.
Great fun, a very enjoyable hour and 40 minutes..go for it...Laurie also recommended: Captain Jack [VHS] Diamonds"
Not The Quiet Man, Thank God
Ms. Scarlett | 03/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Someone called this movie a romantic comedy for people who don't like romantic comedies, and I think that's pretty accurate. The story of a hapless senator's aide (Garafalo) who is shipped to Ireland to search out Irish relatives (bogus or otherwise) of her dim boss, it is refreshingly funny, cynical and lighthearted. While there are, of course, some of the Irish stereotypes and cliches to be found, they are presented in a very sly, acidic, tongue-in-cheek manner, and some of the digs at tourists are particularly funny. The characters are charming, from the matchmaker(s)to the Kelly brothers who run one of the local hotels/pubs. David O'Hara is a find as a romantic leading man--no pretty boy but very sexy--and Jeananne Garafalo makes a great, offbeat romantic foil for him. The scenery is beautiful (it's Ireland, after all) and the dialogue very funny and, at times, touching. Even Murphy, the dog, is funny (note especially the scene in the home of the crusty and anti-tourist Aran Islander). In sum, this movie has some of the best comedic scenes I've seen and some of the most endearing characters as well. Highly recommended for light viewing."
Romantic Comedy Done Right
Ms. Scarlett | St. Louis, Missouri, USA | 11/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this movie! The scenery is breathtaking, the acting is first rate, and the story is charming. This movie transports you to Ireland. The fictional village of Bali Na Gragh (sp?) is overcast yet welcoming, and the people all look real (not like extras on a Hollywood set). It is refreshing to find a romantic comedy that does not take place in an urban landscape. You won't find any Mystic Tanned lads or lasses here! Janeane Garafolo is gorgeously pale, and looks like a real woman. Her acting here is first rate, as usual. After watching the movie 8 times, it is hard to imagine anyone else playing the role of Marcy. Her "match", Sean, played by David O'Hara is one of my favorite male movie characters ever. He is a charming, intelligent cad with a heart of gold. O'Hara is definately not a Brad Pitt or Ben Affleck (thank God!), but man is he sexy! It's about time a romantic comedy has a male lead that isn't prettier than his female costar. The matchmaker, played by Milo O'Shea is the glue that holds this terrific story together. O'Shea's narration throughout the film is hilarious. All the supporting cast is excellent, although I don't understand why Denis Leary gets top billing in this film (after Garafolo). His part was very small, only somewhat pivotal, and could have been played by anyone. The movie follows Marcy to Ireland as she searches for Senator John McGlory's Irish roots. She happens to arrive during the matchmaking festival and meets Sean, who thoroughly irritates her. You can guess what happens next. I usually hate romantic comedies. Any Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks combo makes me run for the hills! If you are like me, watch The Matchmaker. If the quirky, realistic story doesn't endear you, the soundtrack will! In fact, my ONLY complaint about The Matchmaker is that the soundtrack is not available. Do not miss this movie! It is probably sitting on the bargain shelf at your local video store, beacause not enough people know about it, or they are lacking taste. Step away from Sleepless in Seattle!! Give The Matchmaker a chance."
The Matchmaker Review
Beth Rebicek | Wisconsin, USA | 01/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Janeane Garofalo did a wonderful job in this. I even read that this was her favorite movie that she made. The chemistry between David O'Hara(sean) and Janeane Garofalo(marcy) was shocking. The humor also was side spliting. If you are not a romantic or a comedy kind of person you sould get it for just the location. It was actullaly filmed in Ireland. A place I now believe to be the most beautiful places. And if all this don't make you wont to buy this the music is also excellent. I just wish they had made a soundtrack. I have to say this is my favorite movie and I have seen my fair share of movies mabye more."
Worthy of a Deluxe Turbo Tan!!
Kelly E. Visel | Idyllwild, Ca United States | 12/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bollix to those of you who don't like this movie! It is filled with quirky off center humor and constantly had me asking, "Did I really just hear that?" As a very pale caucasion myself, I related particularly well to the various jokes about the lack of pigment in the Emerald Isle. Anyone who's ever been set up on a blind date will find the matchmaking humor particularly entertaining as well. The charachters are wild and eccentric, but entirely lovable. This is one of those movies that leaves you feeling warm fuzzys, and is not to be missed. Even if you end up hating it, I recommend that you watch it and decide for yourself."