It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Roddy Doyle has written an original screenplay, and now we know his secret. He wrote the novels that became the rollicking Irish comedies "The Commitments," "The Snapper" and "The Van," and now here's "When Brendan Met Trudy." If the title reminds you of "When Harry Met Sally," that's because half the scenes in the movie are likely to remind you of other movies.
Roddy Doyle's secret is that he's a movie fan. The kind of movie fan so fanatic that he creates a hero named Brendan who not only has a poster of Godard's "Breathless" in his office, but another one in his flat.
Brendan, played by Peter McDonald, is a sissy. He runs like a girl, with his arms held out rigidly at his sides, and he sings in the church choir, and he's so shy that when the choir members go into the pub for a pint after practice, he stands by himself at the bar. And there he's standing one night, a sitting duck, when Trudy accosts him. She's the kind of girl who can insult you, pick you up, get you to buy her a drink, keep you at arm's length and tell you to sod off, simultaneously and charmingly.
Flora Montgomery is the actress. She's got one of those round, regular faces, pretty but frank, like your best friend's sister--the kind of girl you agree would make a great catch for some lucky bloke, but not, you add in an unspoken footnote, for yourself. Trudy doesn't leave Brendan with the free time for such sophistry, however, and soon he is in love with her and proving that he may run like a sissy but he makes love like that Jack Nicholson character with the "Triumph!" T-shirt.
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One of the most audacious American films from the 1960s is now available via the Criterion Collection.