My mother and I have already been sent home from the office. For the next three weeks. Not a big deal when I already work from home two days a week anyway. The biggest issue I had was not losing my mind to cabin fever… So I made a list of things I should do in my spare time since I would have a lot of it. One of the things was to watch a movie with my mother…. she wanted to watch a romantic comedy… and not a thriller or scary movie… So we settled on Amy Adams and Matthew Goode both of whom I love. It is important to know that this is not a review of the movie… it is more of a reaction to the events that occur. I am not good at writing reviews as something has to be especially bad for me to negative about it. So if that is what you are looking for here… stop reading… I enjoyed the movie… And I understand what I am getting into when I watch romcoms so… it is what it is.
So from this point on…. I will be speaking candidly on the movie. So ***SPOILERS**** ahead. It was so cute… and if you are isolated and don’t have anything else to do… check it out. I’m interested in hearing comments about it. You should know that one of the things on my bucket list is to visit Ireland and the UK as a whole. So this was right up my alley.
So the film opens up with Anna Brady showing her expertise as a stager. So that an apartment can be sold. She has the furniture arranged just right and has a very “about business/by the book” air about her. She is revealed to have a Cardiologist boyfriend named Jeremy (Adam Scott) who randomly gets texts from his other doctor friends diseased hearts and arteries. They seem like a very competent individuals but I am not sold on the idea that they are a couple. Something about their very blasé attitude toward each other. In the small interactions I get from them in the beginning, it seems like they are together because they are just expected to have a significant other at their age and with their jobs. They then head to an interview to get a super expensive apartment. (Do people really interview tenants? This seemed like a lot for me. Maybe I am just not in the right tax bracket yet? Would I want to live in a building such as this….?) Old people wanting to judge younger couples and impose rules on tenants is nothing new. It tends to be a common theme for the rest of the movie. More on that later.
At one point, a friend of Anna’s tells her that she witnessed Jeremy coming out of a jewelry store while they are trying on dresses. The two friends then discuss the excitement of the upcoming proposal. It was cute aside from the friend’s obvious jealousy. She makes a comment about Anna having a better ring than her. Seemed odd to me as I would not say that to any friends of mine nor would they say it to me. Anna also said that she wasn’t shocked to hear that Jeremy had gone to the jewelry store… as she had added his email to a mailing list for weddings and wedding rings so he must have gotten the hint. Do people actually do this? Why not just say you want to be married? Why haven’t these things been discussed? Anna then meets with her father who is super late. At one point, the father makes the statement that Leap Year is coming up and in Ireland the Irish tradition is that a man who is proposed to on Leap Day must accept the proposal. Fast forward to dinner with Jeremy… where she gets her jewelry box… a box of beautiful earrings. Sadly, Jeremy misses the hurt look on Anna’s face. He then proceeds to leave the dinner early to catch his plane to Ireland (Dublin)… for a medical conference. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!!!
So Anna puts her plan into action with the help of her father’s words of “wisdom.” She decides to surprise Jeremy in Ireland. AND PROPOSE. (I really take issue with this. It is supposed to be presented as a reasonable idea. But as I have already stated…. why not have a discussion with your boyfriend and be sure you all are on the same page? That is too much distance to travel for nonsense.) But she boards a plane nonetheless. She has everything mapped out, boring the priest next to her about her plans for a perfect life. And you think it is his job to listen to people’s problems….
Here is where the hijinks ensues…. Her plane hits a serious storm and turbulence and ends having to land in Wales. This is unacceptable for Anna who needs everything to go her way. Her character annoyed me when she maneuvered her way to the front of a long ass line to say that she was surprising her boyfriend and needed to be in Dublin as soon as possible…. Don’t worry the agents gave her a taste of her own medicine. Anna hires a boat to take her to Cork. The storm forces her to be put ashore at a small seaside village called Dingle. (Super props to Amy Adams for walking/running all movie in those heels). She notices a tavern and tries to see if she can enlist the bar patrons to taxi her to Dublin…. (Why she didn’t just call Jeremy? Makes no sense to me.) As I rule, I try not to get into cars with people I do not know…. Taxi’s, Ubers and Lyfts are not my thing and yes I understand the utility but unless I really have to… I don’t… ) But the tavern is great. The patrons are cute… they argue about various superstitions…. (this goes on all movie). Here is where we meet Declan O’Callaghan (Matthew Goode). He explains to Anna that he would rather die than go to Dublin. (So we all know who is going right?)
Anna manages to destroy the room while attempting to plug in her blackberry…. and when the phone is actually plugged in… she cuts out the power to small town. Poor people… Hurricane Anna has come through. Besides being surly and rude…. Declan has his own issues. He is behind on his payments for the Tavern and decides to accompany Anna to Dublin…. for a price. He proposes driving her into Dublin after bursting into her room while she is dressing… She is mortified but he seems unperturbed. After Declan is made to turn around and face the door, they agreed on a dollar amount and that they would meet out front of the tavern. He pulls up in his old Renault 4. It is small and somewhat cramped which Anna comments on right away. Now here is a person doing you a solid and you want to complain. Things do not get any better for the two as they start their journey and she explains to him why she needs to make to Dublin by Leap Day which Declan declares is “The stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” He continues by telling her that she is attempting to trap a man that clearly doesn’t want to be married. Anna, who is already annoyed with Declan for nicknaming the Louis Vuitton as if asking what kind of man buys luggage for his girlfriend as a gift…. (I agreed with Declan). This of course pisses Anna off further. She asks him what he knows about love. He’s probably never been in love. Yes Declan is cynical but I think Anna had some fairy tale eyes.
The first hitch ends up being when they have to stop for cows in the road. Here is where you get to see the difference in their approach. Direct contrast to her and Jeremy (who seem to fit perfectly together.) Declan decides he is going to sit and eat until they decide to move. Anna wants Declan to spring into action and herd cattle. When he doesn’t budge, she decides to take matter into her own hands which ends with her stepping in cow shit. (Again props to Amy Adams for wearing these heels all movie). To top things off… She leans back on the car trying to clean her very expensive shoes, and it starts rolling backwards…. SMH. I was so annoyed that Anna went and sent the car to a watery grave. And on top of that, she had Declan get her luggage only to storm off on her own. He has to get his car towed and she was just going to up and leave him….
Anna storms off down the road… which also made no sense to me… Does she know where she is going? She doesn’t have a plan but damn if she isn’t going to get her proposal. Of course, enter the van… 3 guys ride up and pull up next to her. THIS IS A BAD IDEA. Even Declan… who has to follow her to call someone to help him get his damn car… He tells her it is not a good idea. She has to spite him though. So she allows the guys in the car to put her luggage in the van with them. But when she tries to get in the car with them… they drove off without her… (in my mind I am screaming THANK GOODNESS) who makes that kind of decision.. even in a romcom???? Declan… bless him… for his part… never said a word. He marches on right past her still on his way to find a phone. Anna, at least, has the capacity to look sad.
Anna actually makes it to the “nearest” pub only to find Declan there sipping a pint. It is obviously easier to get somewhere when you are not wearing heels. When Anna glances his way he says that the tow truck will be there in an hour. While using the phone, (Calling Jeremy to let him know that she is in Ireland to surprise him) she notices the 3 guys who stole “Louis” going through her belongings in the next room. She bursts in attempting to get her luggage back. (Another move that made absolutely no sense. Was she going to fight them?) Declan has to step in and rescue her. (romcom trope? I am here for it.) Declan fights the three men, displaying unexpected strength for a man of his size, and retrieves Anna’s bag. Anna and Declan are ejected from the pub by the owner for fighting on the premises. So at this point in their short journey, Anna has pushed his car down a hill and into a stream or lake of some kind and then got him into a fight. SMH. I would have left her to her own devices. But then there would be no movie.
Anna and Declan finally reach a railway station and decide to wait for the next train. Anna is told the next train to Dublin will be along in the next 2 and a half hours. Declan manages to talk her into going to talk a look at the nearby castle. They hike their way up to the castle while waiting for a train. Declan uses this time to try and get to know Anna…. He asks her if you house was on fire and you had 60 seconds to grab something special what would you take before fleeing. While Anna doesn’t really have an answer, she turns the tables on Declan who explains he knows exactly what he would grab. However, they abandon that conversation. Declan beings to tells her an old Irish legend about a young woman promised to an elderly lord that she did not love. She gave her wedding guests a sleeping potion so she could run away with the man she does love. The legend told is loosely based on “The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne”. Anna responds to the story by stating she knows Declan is flirting with her…. (What an ego on this one.) However, they lose track of time and miss the train. It begins to rain and while attempting to get down the hill back to the train station Anna slips down the hill and ends up in a puddle of mud.
The train conductor brings them to the bed and breakfast that he owns. However, it is revealed that the conductor and his wife have very conservative views and have already turned away a man and a woman who need a place to stay because they weren’t married. On the spot, they decide to pretend to be married. When asked their married name Anna says “Brady” (Her last name) at the same time Declan says “O’Callaghan” (his last name). To me, I didn’t understand why she would blurt out her own name. So to save things… Since Anna clearly can’t lie, Declan states their name is Mr. and Mrs. O’Brady-Callaghan. They come from a long line of O’Brady-Callaghan’s and it is way too much for an American to say.
Another romcom trope… being stuck in a room with the man you really can’t stand… and only one bed…. (Again I am here for it.) Anna and Declan stare at the bed before they begin arguing about who is going to sleep where…. Anna tries the whole I am woman thing… to which Declan replied… “You lot wanted the vote. Deal with it.” They decide on a flipping a coin for the bed. Declan tells Anna… “Heads, I will.. Tails, you lose.” Anna who loses whines about where she is going to sleep and he suggests that she sleep in the tub. Anna points out that it is a shower… (but do we really not like each other so much that we would rather sleep in the tub?) When Anna comes to her senses, she declares that the bed is hers and cheaters forfeit. The conductor’s wife shows up saying that dinner will be served soon and they will be eating tripe. Now for those that don’t know…. Tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals. Most tripe is from cattle and sheep. And while I am sure someone can make that to my liking… Just knowing what it is would be enough for me to pass. Declan decides to take matters into his own hands and suggest that he make dinner for all of them.
Anna seems like she likes the idea of not eating tripe. As the wife leaves, Anna glances over to the shower that Declan jumped in… and gets a glimpse all her own. Declan pointed out previously that you could see right through the shower curtain…. Anna finds herself staring before bumping into the door behind her and leaving the room entirely. Let us marvel at Matthew Goode.
Listen I get it Anna. I would look upon him too…. but it is what it is. They head out to the garden to gather ingredients for dinner. Anna frets on the size of the carrots she has vs what she actually needs for the recipe. The control freak in her is starting to take over. I didn’t think that she knew anything about gardening at this point. Declan notices her frustration and offers his own personal advice: “Why don’t you stop trying to control everything in the known universe. Have a little faith that it will all work out.” Anna then talks about her less than trustworthy father. How he blew the family’s money on the latest get rich quick scheme. How he used to tell her to have a little faith that things will work out. She ended up having to work two jobs to help bills. Hence why her relationship with him seemed strained at the beginning of the movie. Declan states that he is sorry that she had to deal with that. They decide on Coq au vin for dinner. Which results in Declan capturing one of the chickens on the farm and breaking its neck, startling Anna. She storms off leaving Declan with a dead chicken in his arms….
– Declan: “I’m wondering where it is that you think chickens come from?”
– Anna: “The freezer section.”
The cooking montage starts. What romcom is complete without a montage….? They are working together, laughing and flirting. (for the record, I am still here for it. ) They both are able to show off their skills. Declan being a chef and Anna being a stager.
When dinner starts things get really awkward. Question to my readers…. What is it with old people pushing for displays of affection from younger people/couples? Why don’t you go and do a puzzle or something and mind your own business? The only other couple besides the owners… is an older Italian couple. When they all start complimenting Declan on his cooking, Anna takes it upon herself to blurt out that Jeremy complains about her cooking and says her chicken is too dry. The question that ensues of course is… Who is Jeremy? Anna, who can’t lie, looks to Declan for support who states that he is the next door neighbor… who is a bit slow and has a love for Anna. She stares at Declan wondering why he is talking down about Jeremy… It seemed obvious to me…. but then again… Anna probably saw it is Declan being his rude self….. But the attention is shifted again when the other couples kiss to show their love for each other, Anna and Declan are “forced” to kiss as well. This was odd to me because the other couples seemed to want to watch and don’t get me started on the Italian couple who almost had to be hosed down… bunch of old voyeurs. Declan and Anna try everything in their power to not kiss but they have already told their host and hostess that they were married so they have to do it. This stirs feelings that neither had expected.
BOOM… and just like that things change. Instead of making him sleep in the shower like he was going to do her, she agrees to share the bed with him. That night, they sleep in the same bed, but do not admit their new feelings for each other. It was so awkward to watch and I could only imagine being in that situation. Check out the struggle.
Now I am not a good movie watcher because at this point I had forgotten all about Jeremy. Why are we going to Dublin? Can’t we just stay here forever? LOL. Anyways… the next day, Declan awakens before Anna and makes her breakfast… but while on his way to bring it to her the food… He overhears her on the phone to Jeremy. She reveals that she has had a setback but should be there soon and that she misses him and can’t wait to see him. This causes Declan to abandon his idea to surprise her and pretend it never happened. She comes in and notices the breakfast tray while Declan is attempting to not engage her in conversation. The journey continues… Poor Declan. He spends much of the movie walking behind her.
While hitch-hiking down the road, Anna and Declan are caught in a hailstorm ( a freakin hailstorm…. ) and take shelter in a nearby church, where a wedding is taking place. They burst through the door, yelling and talking loudly….. but they are invited to the reception nonetheless and Declan is more sour and surly than usual. Begging to go (on foot) to the bus station. He would rather walk to Dublin than watch two people in wedded bliss. Anna obviously turns down leaving as she is still wearing those damn heels. He storms off, Anna follows and the two fight. Anna tells him… that he has obviously never been in love or married…. Declan tells her again that she is being stupid for asking Jeremy to marry her. Her solution is to go back to the reception and drown her sorrows. Declan returns to the reception eventually but not before admitting to Anna that he is “not good at weddings.” They take part in a dance with those at the wedding where Anna has the misfortune of clocking the bride in the head with her heel…. (She is a walking disaster….. I would have left her to get to Dublin on her own a long time ago.) After apologizing and spilling wine on the brides dress…. Anna disappears to sulk and drink on her own. When Declan finds her…. she goes on a drunken tirade about she has figured out that he is putting on a front… (it comes out in a weird allegory about a tiger or some such thing…) However, she leans into kiss him and he seems all for it… only for her to throw up on his shoes…. earning her the nickname “pukey.” Declan carries her away bridal style. When Anna wakes up next she is in Declan’s lap on a bus station. He is asleep himself. (Makes you wonder what the night with drunk Anna would have been like.) Anna gets up and is seen walking away…. (one would imagine to get bus tickets).
Declan is awakened when he hears a bus pulling off… The panic on his face is significant for a woman that he just met… He attempts to run for the bus and is super hurt that she would leave him there on the bench. But she returns with his ticket for the next bus and a coffee for him. He teases her about vomiting on his shoes. It is a running gag through the movie that he constantly tacks ducketts for everything he has had to do up to this point. They manage to catch the bus to Dublin and we get a glimpse off Anna asleep on Declan’s shoulder… (who is Jeremy again?)
When they arrive in Dublin the next day, Declan reveals that he was once engaged but his fiancée ran off to Dublin with his mother’s claddagh ring and his best friend. They all used to own the Inn/bar together… (Hence the reason he never wanted to come to Dublin and his overall surly disposition.) Anna suggests to him that now that he is in Dublin, he should ask for his mother’s ring back… he wastes no time in trying to flip things back on her… basically telling her that they are there in Dublin for her to get married…. to get her guy.
Anna: “I am glad to see you are finally onboard.”
Declan: “It’s got nothing to do with me. I am just the old bag carrier around here. Why should I care?”
Anna: “So you don’t?”
Declan: “Would it make a difference?”
Anna: *silence* *looks away*
Declan: “Come on… Let’s go.”
He just drops the conversation. Internally, I was screaming… Talk to him… he put it out there… say something… ( I have to scream this because in the end I would have run away my damn self… He is just too straight forward for me… and on some level I may need that in my life. But that is a post for another time.)
When they finally arrive at the hotel where Jeremy is staying, Jeremy interrupts their banter and there is so much tension you can cut it with a knife… it was so uncomfortable to watch. Anna attempts to pay Declan for bringing her to Dublin and I assume the damage she did to his car… but he declines to take it… Anna and Declan are making eyes at each other and prolonging their goodbye. Jeremy, for is part, is oblivious to the tension. He is attempting to get Declan to leave by asking if he’s been paid and is completely dismissive. Now, don’t get me wrong… at this point in the story… I don’t dislike Jeremy… Jeremy surprises Anna by proposing to her right in the lobby. Poor Declan is mostly uncomfortable and becomes more and more silent as time passes. When Anna turns around to look at Declan, she sees that he has already left the hotel, and she accepts Jeremy’s proposal.
At their engagement party in Boston, it is revealed that Jeremy and Anna were approved for the apartment and moving into a new place as well as planning a wedding. Here is where the friends need to be poked in the eye… Anna’s friend is clearly super jealous about the new place and the engagement. ( I loathe women who are always in silent competition with each other.) Her husband blatantly says to Jeremy, in front of everyone… that Jeremy didn’t need to propose… the apartment should have been enough… WHO SAYS THINGS LIKE THIS?? He needed to be tossed out the window… But the big bombshell comes when Jeremy opens his mouth…. Anna learns that Jeremy decided to propose only because he thought it was the only way to appease the co-op board of the apartment building. He figured it was the best way to get the approval… which he also admits in front of their guests. WHERE DO YOU FIND THESE PEOPLE?? (Yes I know it is fiction….) I felt bad for Anna… She was clearly trying to move forward with a man who didn’t want to get married and was content with the relationship as it was. Jeremy is pretty detached which probably makes him a great doctor but it doesn’t work for their relationship. In the end, Anna pulls the fire alarm and waits, testing the 60-second concept she had discussed with Declan earlier. Jeremy’s instinct is to retrieve all of their electronic materials such as mobile phones, laptops, etc., and shows no concern for Anna’s well-being. (Mostly because the proposal hadn’t been uploaded to Facebook yet.) At that moment, Anna fully realizes that there is nothing in the apartment that means anything to her, including Jeremy. Declan is seen in a bar in Dublin meeting his ex to get his mother’s ring back. Thank Goodness… this woman ran off with his friend AND kept his ring. Come on lady…
Anna arrives back at the tavern in Dingle, where Declan is running his seemingly successful business having pulled together the balance he owed to his property owner with the help of the community. She gets him out of the kitchen by complaining about the food…. When he realizes it is her… his first question is “Is Jeremy with you?” (Jealous much? She obviously came back to see you and that is the first thing out your mouth…?). Anna is a trooper though… she powers forward… in a dining room full of people… full of strangers. She reveals to him that she has broken off her engagement to Jeremy and tells Declan that she has come to believe that all she needs/wants is right in Dingle.
This next part makes me want to poke Declan in the eye… but in the end it fit with his character… When she proposes that they get together, ignoring her controlling nature and saying they should not make plans, Declan walks away leaving Anna in the middle in the middle of a crowded dining room. Thinking that she had been rejected, Anna rushes outside and makes her way to the edge of a nearby cliff overlooking the sea to cry in peace… poor Anna. Declan finally comes to find her (knowing exactly where to find her….). He reveals that he went out simply to retrieve his mother’s claddagh ring so that he could give it to her. Taking her offer even further, Declan says he wants to make plans with her, and proposes on the cliffside. Anna happily accepts. It would seem to me since he thought the idea of her proposing to Jeremy was dumb… he wasn’t going allow himself to be proposed to either… but in the end…. I enjoyed the movie.
So in the end they get married. And for the record, this is in the top spot for proposals… so if my future husband is reading…. Definitely fly me to the UK and propose to me on a Irish cliff… LOL… my mom enjoyed the movie too… which made me laugh because she hardly ever enjoys anything…. My mom had 3 major points though…..
- Don’t fly across country to propose to anyone…. if you have not had a real discussion about the future prior to.
- Jeremy was an okay guy right up until he tried to marry her for an apartment… did these two not ever speak to each other about their relationship at all?
- And most importantly…. even though Declan is great… Still do not marry strange men you have only known for a few days.
It is one of my favorite romcoms… It is on Hulu… for now… Go and watch it and let me know what you think.