An undemanding slice of Irish whimsy, The Closer You Get
may not hit the crowd-pleasing heights of Waking Ned
, but ultimately settles in to a comfortable, enticing groove inhabited by the likes of TV's Ballykissangel
. The debut feature of Aileen Ritchie and set in a desolate coastal town of Kilvara in County Donegal, the story concerns the lovelorn male townsfolk who advertise for Gaelic-loving women in a Florida newspaper. This action stirs the jealousies of Kilvara's women, who respond by inviting a group of Spaniards to the local dance. A battle of the sexes ensues ultimately resulting in the Guinness-swilling eejits realising that they shouldn't squander what they've got. Simple moral, simple clichés, simple humour, but executed with a considerable charm that makes it an undeniably enjoyable and light-hearted film. Ian Hart is particularly likable as local butcher Kieran (bizarrely dyeing his hair bright blonde to impress the ladies) while he and his boredom-numbed mates are more than matched by the feisty likes of Niamh Cusack and Cathleen Bradley as Kilvara's ignored beauties. Add in some beautiful locations and what you have is an inoffensive little charmer that will suit any lazy afternoon's viewing--and what's wrong with that? --Danny Graydon
A group of bachelor boys from a small Irish village place an advert in the Miami Herald inviting women in their early twenties to come and live with them. Very soon the whole village knows about the advert; the women of the village begin to look at themselves more closely and then start showing the men that they are more than just innocent village girls from Donegal.