Irish comedy/drama about two young people who start a relationship as they finish the Irish version of High School. Andy and Maggie are the cutest couple to come out of the Irish Countryside that you can ever imagine. They are about to start University in Dublin and miss the families they have left behind in the Irish Countryside. We join them as Maggie is about to leave for London, and we find out that she’s travelling to have an abortion. Abortion is illegal in Ireland folks. Anyway Andy is driving Maggie to the airport so she can get the plane, and during what has to be one of the oddest ways to get to Dublin airport, they relive their relationship up to that point. The film has a little twist in the tale and ends perfectly.
As you know I’m Irish, I’ve apologized for that before, and when it comes to Irish films there are no free rides with me. They get the highs like A Date for Mad Mary and the lows like Without Name. I’m harsher on them than I would be any other film, thankfully though, there is a lot of good Irish films coming out and you should do what you can to see Cardboard Gangsters and Handsome Devil. Twice Shy however lands in the land of the middle. It could have easily been a four or five, but one performance is so wooded that the clock stopped at three and that is where it has to stay.
Getting to the story it’s a boy meets girl, boy dates girl, boys father tries to kill himself, boy doesn’t tell girl what happened, girl thinks boy doesn’t like her, boy loses girl, boy tries to win girl back, girl is going to have an abortion. It’s that type of story, we see a lot of those, right? Maggie is played by the fantastically emotive Iseult Casey, who nails this young girl looking to her future with hope and passion. Then we have Ardal O’Hanlon as Andy’s Dad, the Father Ted star, sorry but that’s where we know him from mostly, gives the performance of his life and I wanted more from him. He gives a touching performance that just melts the heart, I didn’t know that he had it in him, so I stand to applaud you Sir, briefly, I’m not a sportsman. Pat Shortt plays Maggie’s Dad and it’s just a filler role, probably there to get the funding from the Film Board.
The main reason this is not a Four or five is the wooden performance from Andy, Shane Murray-Corcoran. I hate to say this, we should never bring each other down, but he’s so stage school it’s annoying. I mean it gets hard to keep watching. But I can’t put everything down to him. You shout at the screen at one point “Did you get a camera drone from Christmas?” There are so many shaky aerial shots that it’s on your mind more than the amazing story they are telling.
These things that take away from the story, which is captivating and deals with a lot of issues that Ireland is trying to solve, shouldn’t put you off going to see the film. The social issues are blended into the story with a deft touch that you can almost forgive the flaws. If you know Ireland you’ll be wondering about the route to the airport, as we all were, but yet cheering for this couple to get things together. The sting in the tale that is revealed was a real nice touch and you feel from Maggie that this is how a lot of girls and women feel having to leave our country to go abroad for an abortion. The film makes no judgement on the issue, it leaves that to the viewer, and the final shot will start a well needed discussion in some groups.
I hope that people will see Twice Shy, forgive it as I have done now, and go past those flaws to enjoy a good Irish film.
Director: Tom Ryan
Writers: Tom Ryan
Stars: Ardal O’Hanlon, Paul Ronan, Pat Shortt