An Everlasting Piece

"Weak"

An Everlasting Piece Review


Catholic Colm and Protestant George are a pair of barbers who cut hair at a Belfast insane asylum "sometime during the 1980s" -- and based on that information alone you should be able to ascertain that "An Everlasting Piece" is supposed to be a comedy.

Add the fact that they've decided to go into the door-to-door toupee business (there is such a thing?), and this movie should have had me rolling in the aisles. Especially with a director like Barry Levinson ("Diner," "Liberty Heights," "Wag the Dog") at the helm. But while some members of the audience were laughing uncontrollably during a recent preview screening, about half of us were dead silent through the whole thing -- wondering what the rest of them found so amusing.

The plot of this screwball comedy is paper-thin: Colm (played by Barry McEvoy, the film's screenwriter) and George (Brian F. O'Byrne) are competing against a cross-town rug rival for exclusive rights to sell men's wigs in Northern Ireland. Why is the wig trade a monopoly-or-nothing business? Don't ask any logical questions of this movie because you won't get an answer. Such points shouldn't matter in a screwball comedy anyway, and had I been one of the laughers I probably would have forgiven such elements of nonsense.

But when a movie is a grab-bag of unsteady chuckles that depend on misunderstood accent gags (a customer thinks they're talking about "herpes" instead of "hair pieces") and "quirky family" bits, it needs something more substantial to rise above its bumbling Brit-com foundation.

Do you laugh at the idea of somebody's chain-smoking mother wearing underwear on her head to prevent the exhaled nicotine from making her hair brittle? If the answer is yes, "An Everlasting Piece" might be for you. If not, you're with me, and you probably won't laugh once after the movie's amusing opening sequence, in which illustrations are sketched on the screen John Madden-style over a shot of Colm's house, explaining its uncomfortable proximity to a "peace wall" separating Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods.

Many of the picture's other set-ups are ripe with comic potential -- there's a run-in with a balding faction of the IRA, for example -- but "Piece" seems prematurely pleased with itself while frequently over-shooting its jokes.

Levinson directs this movie like a batting cage pitching machine, mechanically lobbing jokes at the audience, instead of being like a baseball coach concocting a strategy to win the game.

He fastballs mad dog Scottish comedian Billy Connelly into a few scenes, playing a lunatic convict called "The Scalper." He has Colm wrestle a pack of stray dogs that has run off with a customer's new hair. Our heroes have a run-in with the law after they're linked to a newly coifed IRA organizer.

But the jokes just aren't funny -- at least not to me. The characters' bumbling becomes annoying quickly, and the inevitable political proclamation subtext about The Troubles feels like a pat on the head from a playground teacher breaking up a fight between two second-graders.

Maybe I missed something, because the people who thought this movie was funny were clearly having a great time. But while I can sometimes fathom why others enjoy comedies that I can't stand (the "Austin Powers" movies, for example), I'm at a loss on this one.



An Everlasting Piece

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd March 2001

Box Office USA: $9.1k

Distributed by: Dreamworks Distribution LLC

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Baltimore Spring Creek Productions, Bayahibe Films Ltd.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 24

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Colm, as George, as Bronagh, as Gerty, as Mrs. O'Neill, as Scalper, as Mr. Black, as Mickey

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.