A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Strange, how a movie of such delicate romantic sensibilities could go astray because of a heavy-handed plot. Neil Jordan’s “The Miracle” opens with small enchantments and a warmth of feeling, and then at around the midway point gets bogged down in miscalculations that are finally fatal.
The movie takes place in a small seaside town near Dublin, Ireland, where a fancy-free young man and his best friend, a girl of about the same age, wander the town engaging in their mutual hobby of people-watching. Spotting someone, they manufacture dialogue and fantasies for them, describing them in the third person like characters in a book. Together they are re-writing the mundane small details of their village into a romantic whimsy.
One day while they're monitoring the local railway station, a beautiful blond woman gets off of the train. She is classy and glamorous - she sticks out a mile - and they are consumed with curiosity to know more about her. They follow her to the beach, they create fantasies about her, and finally she speaks to them. She is friendly. The boy is struck broadside with a crush on her.
Who is this woman? Some viewers will have guessed almost before she finishes her first dialogue scene. Others will not take much longer, but the characters in the movie are forced to wait, and wait, until a denouement so long delayed that the audience has lost patience with the movie’s other qualities.