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"THE MATCHMAKER"
(1997) (Janeane Garofalo, David O'Hara) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Moderate None *None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Minor Minor Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Romantic Comedy: A political aide, hoping to garner votes for her Senator, travels to Ireland looking for his genealogical roots and finds herself in the middle of a local matchmaking festival.
PLOT:
Marcy Tizard (JANEANE GAROFALO) is a political aide to Massachusetts Senator John McGlory (JAY O. SANDERS) who's up for reelection, but is struggling in the poles. Looking for a new angle to garner more votes, McGlory's campaign manager, Nick (DENIS LEARY), decides they should play up the Senator's Irish roots. So they send a reluctant Marcy to the Senator's homeland of Ballinagra, Ireland where she finds herself stack dab in the middle of a local matchmaker festival. Being a single America woman, everyone thinks she's there for the festival, including Dermot (MILO O'SHEA), the head matchmaker. Although she adamantly denies that, Dermot picks out Sean (DAVID O'HARA), a journalist, as her match. Marcy wants no part of this, but soon the locals and their way of life begin to soften her demeanor. As she finds herself falling for Sean, she must balance her feelings with her duties to find McGlory's family roots.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they like romantic comedies or are fans of Garofalo they just might. However, preteens will probably have little or no interest in this film.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JANEANE GAROFALO plays a single woman who doesn't want to be in Ireland and freely speaks her mind, but does allow the town's ways to soften her standoffish behavior. She sleeps with Sean (implied), curses (including the "f" word), and drunkenly beats up the Senator's car.
  • DAVID O'HARA plays a journalist who fights with his brother, drinks some, and has sex with Marcy while still technically married (he's separated from his wife).
  • DENIS LEARY plays a manipulative, media hungry campaign manager who will do anything to get his boss reelected and thus further his own career. This includes staging interviews with "fake" relatives, and he also curses a lot.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7.5 out of 10
    For the most part, lead characters in romantic comedies come in two forms, those who are pursuing romance, and those who are avoiding it. The first group actively seeks out relationships, partners, and they're incurable romantics. The second group isn't looking for love, avoids relationships like the plague, and generally hates it when others try to fix them up. "The Matchmaker" offers us both, and who better than Janeane Garofalo ("The Truth About Cats & Dogs") to headline the second group. Not that she's not a lovely person and may be in a perfectly fine relationship in real life, but she often portrays characters in her standup comedy routines and in her films that haven't had luck with finding a partner and romance in general. It's off that portrayal that the plot of this movie hinges, and it works perfectly well as she ends up stuck in a foreign land's matchmaking festival. Obviously, the comic possibilities are numerous and the film takes advantage of many of them, but nicely plays a great deal of it low key. Of course, a great deal of your enjoyment of this film will depend on your appreciation or liking of Garofalo. Her dry, comic style and often irritated, cynical attitudes have a unique quality to them and while some think she's very funny, others often find her a bit too bristly for their liking. We fall into the first group and think that those characteristics fit in perfectly with her no-nonsense demeanor. Her character's "woman from the big city" attitude and the fact that she doesn't want to get hooked up with anyone are of course her weaknesses that the film will exploit, and much of the comedy that follows results from just that.

    Yet as funny as Garofalo is, the supporting characters are even funnier. From one-time character appearances to recurring ones, these "background" people provide a great deal of the film's biggest laughs. Much like Alan Parker's brilliant "The Commitments" (1991) -- the hilarious film about Irish musicians -- the characters here don't make any pretenses about hiding their true emotions, and the way that they quickly, and often absentmindedly, blurt out their thoughts is quite hilarious. Sanders is great as the fence straddling, democratic Senator from Massachusetts, and his oblivious nature provides for some humorous material. In one scene he's hyped up about his future potential and says, "If we play our cards right, I'll end up like Kennedy." Thinking for a moment about what happened to JFK, he adds, "...(but) alive." Beyond it's setting, the film doesn't offer up a great deal of anything new for this genre. It does seem to have a little more depth than most films of this type, though, and does have some heartfelt, non-romantic moments. But it's romance that everyone wants and this film delivers. Of course everyone knows that Marcy will become disillusioned with her big city job and boss, and that she and Sean will get together by the story's end (it is a romantic comedy after all). In this genre it's usually the journey to that point, however, that's most of the fun and this film provides a pleasant and scenic road upon which to take that journey. For those who like romantic comedies, this is pretty much a sure thing. For those who like films with a little more depth, this one also delivers that. It will bring a smile to your face, an occasional tear to your eye, and that general warm, fuzzy feeling that proves that the film has hit its spot. We enjoyed this movie a great deal and give it a 7.5 out of 10.

    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The worst category here is profanity, which is the only reason the film received an "R" rating. If they had cut the more than 30 "f" words (easily done), the film would have earned a PG-13 rating (and thus had a much bigger audience). Beyond that, there's some implied sexual activity, and the main character gets drunk in one scene where she not only vandalizes her boss' car, but is also belligerent toward the police after they've arrested her. Two adult brothers get into several fights, but none of it's that bad which pretty much describes the rest of the categories. Since some children will want to see this film, though, you should make sure that first you read through the content to make sure it's appropriate for them, or for you.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • There are many scenes where people, including Marcy, Sean, and Dermot, are drinking in the hotel bar or at other social outings. The people mainly drink beer, but a few others drink shots of liquor.
  • Marcy asks Sean, "Is being an idiot like being high all the time?"
  • A teenage girl secretly drinks in the bathroom to get up her courage at a dance.
  • After Sean's separated wife has returned, Marcy gets drunk, vandalizes the Senator's car, and then is belligerent in a police station (where she also drunkenly mentions that she's going to have sex (the "f" word) with two teens who are there as well).
  • The Senator drinks in a bar, and later Marcy and the Senator's father drink Scotch.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man's face has red, puffy and wet blisters on his face after getting a bad sunburn.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Marcy calls Sean "paddy" since he's Irish. He takes offense to that and she apologizes.
  • Nick has both types of attitude as he's demeaning to most everyone around him and will do anything (including paying people to act like McGlory's relatives) to get the Senator reelected, but does so only to further his own career.
  • Some may see the fact that Sean pursues (and supposedly has sex with) Marcy as having both since he's separated, but not divorced from his wife.
  • Marcy drunkenly kicks the Senator's car, and then several people join her as they dance on its roof and perform other acts of vandalism on it.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Dermot has a heart attack.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • When Marcy tells the bartender that she looks like she could use a drink, the bartender replies that she could use a gun.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bollocks," "Piss," "Slut," "Stick it up your ass," "D*cking around," "Freakin," "Shut up," "Bastard," "Screwed up," "Nut" (crazy), "Moron," and "Sucking up."
  • A teenage girl secretly drinks in the bathroom to get up her courage at a dance.
  • Marcy drunkenly kicks the Senator's car, and then several people join her as they dance on its roof and perform other acts of vandalism on it.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 36 "f" words (1 used sexually), 10 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals (the "d" word), 17 asses (9 using "hole"), 7 hells, 3 damns, and 7 uses of "Jesus," 5 of "Oh God," 4 of "God," 2 uses each of "G-damn," "Jesus Christ," "Oh Jesus," and "For Christ's sakes" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "Christ" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • After Marcy discovers Sean in her bathtub, he tells her that she can join him, but she declines the offer.
  • Dermot shows a pie chart (about human experiences) that has sections titled, "Love, Having a Laugh, Eating, Sex."
  • Marcy hears repetitive thumping sounds coming from Sean's room and thinking he's doing something sexual, knocks on his door to tell him that she can hear him. He then shows her that his dog kicks out his foot when its belly's rubbed, and that's what she heard. The next morning, however, we see a woman leave his room, implying that she and Sean were having sex.
  • Sean rushes into Marcy's room, grabs her, and they fall to her bed kissing and rolling around. Although we see nothing else, it's implied that they have sex when we hear the repetitive thumping sound again.
  • A shy man's friend comes over and tells Marcy that the friend wants to dance, and then adds "he's hung like a stallion."
  • Marcy is drunk and acting belligerent in a police station. Sean decides to leave and she tells him that she's going to "stay and f*ck these two guys" (two teens who've also been arrested).
  • SMOKING
  • Sean smokes a few times.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Sean and his brother have a few fights (physical).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Focusing on what's important in life.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Dermot slaps his assistant on the head after he's left a man under a sun lamp too long.
  • Dermot purposefully knocks a man and woman's heads together, stating that they would have eventually done it themselves anyway, and that he's getting it out of the way for them.
  • An older man throws rocks at Sean and Marcy, thinking they're tourists.
  • Marcy drunkenly kicks the Senator's car, and then several people join her as they dance on its roof and perform other acts of vandalism on it.
  • Sean and his brother get into fights where they knock each other around but without apparent malicious intent. In one of them, however, Sean slams his brother against a wall, and in another, the brother pushes Sean into the street where he's hit by a car and breaks his leg.



  • Reviewed September 26, 1997

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