The MatchMaker Review
Whatever happened to Janeane Garofalo? She's pretty, witty, charismatic and engaging. Whenever she has been in a movie it has always brightened up the screen and yet I cannot remember many titles that she has taken the lead in. Reality Bites and The Truth about Cats and Dogs come to mind but the truth is, she does not get the coverage that she deserves. So when I heard about the upcoming release of The Matchmaker, I was quite interested in seeing how she faired at carrying a movie all by herself.
Marcy is working hard in Boston as a dutiful Senator's aide, but when the campaign takes a distinct nosedive she gets dispatched to Ireland to save his skin by tracing his family heritage, giving him more credence before the election. After taking a while to get accustomed to her very lilted new surroundings she starts doing the rounds, speaking - or even singing - at functions, horse-races and so forth, desperate to find her boss's roots. Unfortunately her plans are scuppered by the local matchmaking festival, which has all the townsfolk in a tizzy. Amidst all this chaos - and the attentions of all the town's matchmakers desperate to partner her up with any of the local lads - she meets the affable Sean and strikes up a friendship forged on light-hearted confrontations but destined to become much more.
This sweet little movie contains the requisite amount of syrupy, romantic and comedic moments, misunderstandings and tragedies and is almost single-handedly carried by the charms of the lovely Janeane Garofalo, doing her best with a slightly dubious script and flimsy story. She gets a little assistance, but not from B-movie stars like Rescue Me's Denis Leary and Deep Blue Sea's Saffron Burrows who merely pop up to shout profanities or sport a terrible accent, respectively, but instead from the talented David O'Hara (Hotel Rwanda, Stander) as the local Irish reporter, Sean, who bumps heads with Marcy right at the outset. The two of them have pretty good chemistry, which shines through despite the very different cultures and societies that their characters hail from.
Overall it is a perfectly pleasant romantic comedy, with a few too many singing contests (none of which are aurally pleasant) but a generally agreeable sentiment running throughout and an occasionally very sharp observation of the romantic interactions between the two sexes. If not for Garofalo and the verbal parrying between the two leads (along with a humorous scene with a character reminiscent of Father Jack from the Father Ted comedy series) there would be little here to interest anybody, but with those aspects on board you could do a lot worse than this likeable romantic comedy.