SONGS FOR AMY

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM -

Di­rected by Kon­rad Begg. Star­ring Sean Maguire, Lorna An­der­son, Ford Kier­nan, Kevin Ryan, Gavin Mitchell, James Cosmo, Patrick Ber­gin

16 cert, IMC Galway; Screen, Dublin, 103 min It takes a while for this mess of an Ir­ish com­edy – or drama or mu­si­cal or some­thing – to spin off the rails, but, when it does, the ca­reer­ing ve­hi­cle will not be set back on course. Kon­rad Begg, an ex­pe­ri­enced TV di­rec­tor, de­liv­ers a de­cent-look­ing pack­age with tol­er­a­bly ef­fi­cient per­for­mances. Un­for­tu­nately, the dog’s din­ner of a script ul­ti­mately proves be­yond re­demp­tion.

Songs for Amy fol­lows the sort of mu­si­cian – all drea­rily sin­cere bal­lads strummed in acous­tic tor­ment – who re­ally does clut­ter the streets of Galway. Sean (Sean Maguire) is in love with Amy (Lorna An­der­son), a jour­nal­ist, but, be­fore they can tie the knot, he makes a clas­sic rock star er­ror.

On the night be­fore the wed­ding, in the com­pany of his band, he par­ties heartily with Alabama 3 and ren­ders him­self in­ca­pable of mak­ing the al­tar. Amy then runs off to New York and, for rea­sons never ex­plained, falls in love with an un­con­vinc­ing rock star whose malev­o­lence could not be more con­spic­u­ous if he sprouted horns.

The first act plays well enough as an er­satz ru­ral Once. The ed­i­fice re­ally stars to jud­der when, af­ter the spring­ing of an un­her­alded tragedy, Sean finds him­self run­ning a lux­ury ho­tel in the coun­try. Guess which celebrity cou­ple are plan­ning their wed­ding there? The team be­hind Mrs Brown’s Boys would re­ject such a pre­pos­ter­ous cliche. The longer the film goes on, the more pal­pa­ble is the sense of des­per­a­tion.

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