When Brendan Met Trudy

"Good"

When Brendan Met Trudy Review


A cheeky romantic comedy that ardent film buffs will adore, "When Brendan Met Trudy" is an homage-filled confection about polar opposite oddballs in love.

Brendan (Peter McDonald) is a totally square, socially stunted, young Irish schoolteacher who lives vicariously through his movie fanaticism (thus the copycat title). When by chance he meets a charismatic girl who is inexplicably interested in him, the only way he can think to flirt is by quoting obscure French art films -- and expecting her to get the reference.

Trudy (Flora Montgomery), on the other hand, is a hip young thing with gregarious character in spades, but much to Brendan's chagrin, no knowledge of film. On one of the rare occasions when Brendan leaves his flat (to go to church choir practice), they meet in a pub and argue all the way to her bed.

The movie begins with Brendan lying in a Dublin gutter in a rainstorm some months later, after having apparently blown it with Trudy big time. In voice-over, he quotes the opening of "Sunset Boulevard" -- "The poor dope! He always wanted a pool...Let's go back about six months and find the day when it all started." Not being a terribly original bloke, Brendan thinks this is a clever way to launch into his story of falling in love, learning to lighten up and discovering his girlfriend is a cat burglar.

"It's a living," Trudy explains as he gasps disapprovingly. But since by this time she's sat through dozens of art films for him, high-strung Brendan reluctantly agrees to give larceny the old college try when she wants him to tag along. Break-ins, arrests and condescending flack from his stuffed-shirt family follow.

Written by Roddy Doyle ("The Commitments," "The Snapper," "The Van") and directed by film rookie Kieron J. Walsh, "When Brendan Met Trudy" is full of winking cinematic tributes to everything from "The African Queen" to Godard's "Breathless" to Polish director to Dariusz Tomaszewski. But a film degree is not required to thoroughly enjoy the picture. The winningly idiosyncratic chemistry between McDonald and Montgomery is what carries the story.

McDonald's credibility as a pasty dork -- but a strangely magnetic dork -- saturates him to the point that in one scene he even runs after an angry Trudy with his hands stiffly at his sides, as if he had a broom handle shoved...well, you know where. The untraditionally pretty Montgomery's performance as a spunky, funky free spirit is wildly appealing without being so strong she overshadows the timidly neurotic Brendan.

Together their dynamic is similar to Matthew Broderick and Meg Ryan in "Addicted to Love," but this picture has more intelligent comedy and twice as much charm.

Once in a while, "When Brendan Met Trudy" gets a little too adorably quirky for its own good. But only because Doyle and Walsh frontload the film with comical asides, like the deliberately absurd news reports that keep popping up on Trudy's stolen television(s) about gay Orangemen marches and nuns going postal with machine guns.

Sometimes they just misfire, and such faux pas are at worst a minor annoyance and hardly diminish the movie at all.



When Brendan Met Trudy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th March 2001

Distributed by: Shooting Gallery

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 38 Rotten: 24

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Kieron J. Walsh

Starring: Chris McHallem as Male Choristor, as Trudy, as Brendan

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

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.