A romantic comedy based on real events from 18th century Ireland. A group of abductors kidnap usually willing young women and try to persuade them to wed. However, the local militia are tipped off when Strang (Matthew Rhys) is expelled from the club after falling in love with one of the girls. This mismatched couple, Strang and Anne (Sophia Myles), face a formidable challenge to survive once the militia are aware of the existence of the club.
"We are gentlemen brought together by necessity!" So goes the thinking behind The Abduction Club
, the name of a wily gang of penniless 18th-century chaps who attempt to cure their singledom by swiping wealthy heiresses from the comfort of their own homes. The aim? To sweet talk them into marriage by morning, securing their future in the manner to which they are accustomed with the aid of the lady's hefty dowry. Daniel Lapaine and Matthew Rhys are two loveable rogues who get more than they bargain for with the feisty Kennedy sisters (Alice Evans and Sophia Myles), who give them a run for their money. But, with their family in hot pursuit, the question is: will the girls ever relent and fall for the boys? And if so, what will their folks say?
Based on true events, the whole setup of The Abduction Club is dubious, intended to be overlooked by the fact that these abductors are rather handsome, so of course the ladies don't mind being kidnapped. But to launch a moral tirade against such a frivolous film would be as ludicrous as some of the oversized wigs and corsetry on offer here. There is some dodgy acting and some even more unsteady scripting, but The Abduction Club is just a genial romp that aims to amuse, and little else.
On the DVD: The Abduction Club disc is completely bereft of any additional material apart from a trailer. --Laura Bushell