The Matchmaker (1997)

Directed by Mark Joffe

I have to confess, I love these kinds of movies — romantic comedies, especially those that make an effort to avoid excessive sentimentality.

Of course, you can’t really avoid it; it’s the nature of the genre.

For The Matchmaker, Janeane Garofalo is perfectly cast.

There’s something essentially funny about seeing a smartass cynic meeting their match.

This is pretty traditional stuff from screwball comedies like The Lady Eve and His Girl Friday to Annie Hall and so on.

It’s a formula that works, and it’s always gratifying seeing it work, especially when some sort of spin is put on it.

Milo O'Shea as Dermot O'Brien, the matchmaker, and Janeane Garofalo as Marcy Tizard.

In this case, the spin is Ireland although anywhere that is not-America would suffice for the story.

It’s the fish-out-of-water thing.

Marcy Tizzard (Garofalo) is a senator’s assistant. The superficial senator (Jay O. Sanders) is seeking re-election and the campaign is not going well.

Being from the area of the country he represents, he hopes to grab the Irish vote by tracing his Irish roots — despite knowing nothing of Ireland and having no previous interest in it.

So Marcy is off to Ireland to find the source of the Senator’s Irish background. Her task would be far easier to manage were there something to find. What she does find, however, is a feisty romance that she has no interest in — but a certain matchmaker does.

There’s really not much else to say. If you like romantic comedies, you’ll like The Matchmaker. Anyone I have recommended it to has liked it and liked it a lot.


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