Friday, December 13, 2002

Evelyn (IMDB) (Netflix)
Based on the true story about a landmark legal case in 1950s Ireland. Pierce Brosnan is the hard-drinking, irregularly employed father of three children, whose mother abandons them. Da runs afoul of the family-unfriendly child welfare laws and loses the kids, setting up his struggle to get them back.

It's a good thing everything's incredibly Irish, or this could be unwatchable. You've seen each moment before in countless movies of its ilk, from the drinking dad to the good nun, bad nun characters to the dramatic courtroom finale, but I was chuckling and empathizing even while ticking off the entire genre checklist in my head. Maybe it's the scenery, the lilt or the relentless heart that gives it that slipping-into-an-old-pair-of-sneakers feel. Loyal reader and Eire-phile Mary Murphy enjoyed it, and I, like a coed meeting her first Frenchman, was charmed within an inch of surrender. Yet, when the lights came on, I went home alone, knowing it was the right thing to do, but wondering what might have been.

A winner for the sentimentality-inclined.