If you're on the lookout for a feel-good movie that may have gone sort of underappreciated for its time, look no further than this heartwarming story. On the surface, we have a comedic story of greed, and how people act when ther's a lot of money on the line. But it also gets deeper, going into relationships with loved ones of all sorts; namely best friends.
The winner of the Irish National Lottery is found out to be one of 52 people living in the sleepy Irish town of Tulaigh Mhór (Tullymore). Retired best friends Jackie O'Shea (Ian Bannen) and Michael O'Sullivan (David Kelly), along with Jackie's wife, Annie (Fionnula Flanagan) plan a dinner in order to find out who the big winner is, hopefully make friends with him/her, and hopefully get a piece of the pie.
The winner is easily narrowed down to one Ned Devine (Jimmy Keogh), but when Jackie goes to his house to speak to him, he finds him dead, holding the winning ticket, having died from shock. Now it's all about claiming the money one way or another, and when lottery officials come to town looking for Ned, certain comedic precautions are seen through to make sure the money isn't just taken away from not only our two main characters, but the town.
A side story to all of this sees Maggie O'Toole (Susan Lynch) continuously turning down the interest of her former boyfriend, "Pig" Finn (James Nesbitt). He thinks he is the father of her son Maurice (Robert Hickey), and is convinced they should be together. However, a constant odour of pigs clings to him, as he's a pig farmer, and that's kind of a turn-off. Pat Mulligan (Fintan McKeown) becomes a rival of Finn's, as they both seek the heart of Maggie, and the whole thing is makes for a charming subplot, as it's all executed just so casually.
The film very much does consaist of two ongoing stories, running at a parallel - one a buddy comedy, one a romantic comedy, and it all comes together with an interesting twist in the end, just when you're trying to figure out hat one story has to do with the other. Granted, it feels a little convenient, but it adds a bit of extra charm on top of an already charmingly funny movie.
This isn't what you'd call a knee-slapping, laugh out loud comedy, but it's definitely funny, and it tells a good story, taking the time to tug at the heartstrings as well. There is one particular scene in here involving a funeral, and it was certainly enough to cause a few tears, which for me is always a sign of the film doing its job (as long as it's not cheap, but clever, which this certainly was).
So, if you find yourself on the down-and-out, may I highly recommend this all-around feel-good movie. It's sweet, it's fun, and it's simple, asking its audience the question of "what would you do in this situation?" So check it out for yourself, keep an open mind about naked old dudes riding motorcycles, and enjoy this lovely story for the simplicity it brings across - a film doesn't need a big budget to be great.