An Everlasting Piece

An Everlasting Piece


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Selling wigs to terrorists is a funny idea. Except not in Belfast. There is something about the IRA that puts an end to laughter.

Barry McEvoy wrote the script, based on stories his father told him. He also plays Colm, who cuts hair in a mental hospital, where he meets The Scalper (Billy Connolly), a crazed Scot, who ran a toupee monopoly in Northern Ireland before losing the plot and attacking his customers.

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With his pal, George (Brian F O'Byrne), he uses The Scalper's contacts to take over the franchise, as a rival firm moves in and a sales battle ensues.

If this was Sheffield, where The Full Monty came from, a wig war would have been the cue for slapper jokes and baldy scams, but not here. The British army is on the streets. Men in woolly masks stalk country lanes at night. Where you live and who you know matters as much as the church you attend. Colm is Catholic, George is Protestant. Not good for business.

Baltimore's favourite son, Barry Levinson, directs. The soundtrack pulsates with Celtic ballads. Anna Friel, who can't keep away from chirpy, bouncy roles, plays Colm's girlfriend. It doesn't rain as heavily as in Angela's Ashes, but it pours nonetheless.

However hard they try, the actors cannot lift the movie out of its time and place. Belfast in the Eighties buried ugly memories beneath a myth of the freedom fighter. Also, the gags aren't good enough.

Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2001
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Selling toupees to the IRA is a moral, as well as a business decision for two likely lads.
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Director: Barry Levinson

Writer: Barry McEvoy

Starring: Barry McEvoy, Brian F O'Byrne, Anna Friel, Billy Connolly, Pauline McLynn, Ruth McCabe

Year: 2000

Runtime: 103 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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