Colm (Barry McEvoy) is a Catholic, and George (Brian O'Byrne) is a poetry-loving Protestant. In Belfast, Northern Ireland in the 1980s, they could have been enemies, but instead, they ...
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Colm (Barry McEvoy) is a Catholic, and George (Brian O'Byrne) is a poetry-loving Protestant. In Belfast, Northern Ireland in the 1980s, they could have been enemies, but instead, they became business partners. After persuading a mad wig salesman, known as the Scalper (Sir Billy Connolly), to sell them his leads, the two embark on a series of house calls - always in neighborhoods that are dangerous for one or the other partner. Then they find out they may lose their exclusive wig distributorship to competitors. Through a series of comic twists, the pair are given large orders for wigs by both sides of the Protestant and Catholic conflict. Should they compromise their principles in order to keep their business? Will it destroy their friendship? Could one of their wigs in the hands of the I.R.A. actually put one or both of them in jail, or even get them killed?Written by
Producer Jerome O'Connor filed a ten million dollar lawsuit against DreamWorks for effectively burying this movie so as not to offend the British government. DreamWorks head Steven Spielberg was rumored to receive an honor from H.R.M. Queen Elizabeth II, but a wide release of this movie (which lampoons the U.K. government's treatment of Northern Ireland) would have scuppered that. Consequently, this movie was released in just six cinemas, and Spielberg got his honor. See more »
I have to disagree with some of the other comments on this film. In my opinion it is one of the cleverest satires that I have seen but you have to concentrate on it and not expect it to be obviously realistic. It is very well written, acted and directed with an extremely clever ending. Reminiscent of the ability of Noel Coward or Oscar Wilde to depict human frailty in a comical light (but missing the blistering dialogue of the latter). The word "wry" comes to mind and its only faults are some slowness in building up to the ending and, while most of the characters are deliberately portrayed as rather childish and naive, some are a little overdone. In particular, Colm's definition of when an action is "a gesture" is absolutely superb satire. This film is wit, not comedy in the rather obvious sense which so often prevails these days. I would give it a "much better than average" rating for a discerning viewer who wants something better than what is mostly on offer.
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