Now Ireland may not be known as a production line of major motion pictures, but every now and then a great picture is released from the Emerald Isle. Only problem is that you probably won’t ever hear about it, as they tend to be independent productions that cost less to make than the average Marvel trailer.
Never fear; we are here to fill you in on what you’ve been missing out on for the past few years, with our list of the Top Five Irish comic creations. The Irish have a nice line in melancholic humor, and all of the movies here showcase the deadpan wit that’s a trademark of the Irish comedy. And without the glossy sheen we’ve come to expect from the latest Hollywood releases.
So here it is, 5 Irish comedies that you need to check out:
Sing Street (2016)
Set in the 1980s, this coming-of-age story features a teenager who despite having no particular musical ability sets up a band to impress a girl. That’s how a lot of bands get started after all, and Conor and his friends find refuge in the band from the stresses of high-school, family feuding and all the other hardships that life inflicts upon teenagers. This is a charming little picture which makes the most of its eighties setting to deliver plenty of laughs. ‘Littlefinger’ from Game of Thrones also makes an appearance as Conor’s dad, who is dealing with business worries via the twin mediums of booze and cigarettes.
The Guard (2011)
Don Cheadle (that’s Colonel Rhodes from the Avengers to you) shows up in this buddy comedy opposite the always reliable Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson is the titular guard (which is what they call cops in Ireland) and he is more interested in hooking up with ladies of the night than helping Cheadle’s by-the-book FBI agent to hunt down drug smugglers. Cue plenty of violence and R-rated laughs as the mis-matched duos do what mis-matched duos do in this kind of movie. A whole heap of fun.
Waking Ned Devine (1998)
Old Ned Devine is so shocked by winning the Lotto that he drops down dead. Word spreads around the small country village, and two of Ned’s pals – veteran character actors Ian Bannen and David Kelley – decide to claim the prize under the pretext that Ned is still alive. Cue a lot of slapstick and gentle humor as the elderly twosome try to carry off the deception without alerting the lottery officials.
The Young Offenders (2016)
Subtitles may be required for this hilarious Cork-based caper comedy featuring a couple of teenage ne’er-do-wells trying to make a fast buck. When they hear about millions of euros worth of cocaine washing up on a beach, they set off on a road-trip (on stolen bicycles) to try and nab a share of the loot. The two young stars bring a fresh and irreverent slant to this fast-paced comedy, and no doubt we’ll be seeing more of them in the future.
This pitch-black comedy features younger incarnations of a couple of Ireland’s most prominent actors, in the shape of Cillian Murphy and Colin Farrell. The story features a group of loosely connected Dubliners navigating life, relationships and trying (often unsuccessfully) to stay out of trouble. This has been described as “a likeable film about nasty people”, which is as good a way to sum it up as any.
We think you’re gonna enjoy this selection of classic Irish comedies, so fire up your streaming service and go check out a couple of these beauties next time you feel in the need of a good laugh.