THE BOYS AND GIRL FROM COUNTY CLARE (John Irvin). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (March 18). For venues and times, see Movies, page 90. Rating: N Rating: N
You'd have to be pretty soused from St. Paddy's Day partying to find any original-sounding notes in The Boys And Girl From County Clare .
Estranged brothers Jimmy ( Colm Meaney ) and John Joe ( Bernard Hill ), both of them fiddlers, meet up at the annual ceili competition in Northern Ireland. Jimmy's now a success in Liverpool, while John Joe has stayed behind to farm in County Clare.
Before anyone downs a pint, you can see that the brothers' feud has something to do with John Joe's pianist, Maisie ( Charlotte Bradley ), whose daughter Anne ( Andrea Corr ) doesn't know who her pa is. Of course, Jimmy's flutist, Teddy ( Shaun Evans ), has Oirish eyes for Anne, much to Maisie's chagrin.
It's hard to believe anyone came up with this blarney about fiddling and diddling. If the music were half-decent - or the performers expressed some joy playing it - I'd up the rating. Meaney relies on a single note of bluster, while Hill (Lord Of The Rings) looks embarrassed to be demoted from the Kingdom of Rohan to a glorified Tourism Ireland ad.
Corr has presence and a mischievous twinkle in her eye that's initially promising. But director John Irvin 's dumbest move was hiring her - she's lead vocalist with the group the Corrs - and not letting her sing.