The Closer You Get (aka American Women [US title]) 2000
Grade: Not a bad way to spent 95 minutes.
I liked “The Full Monty” and “Waking Ned Devine” which are two films, along with the “Ballykissangel” series, which are mentioned in the “if you like these you’ll like “The Closer You Get” lists. Yeah, I pretty much agree though I also agree with several people who’ve said this one isn’t quite as good as the others. Small town Irish charm, nice people acting a little foolishly but no one’s out to deliberately harm anyone else.
After being stimulated by a screening of Bo Derek’s 10, a group of lonely young Irishmen cook up a foolproof plan: They’ll post an ad in the Miami Herald, inviting American ladies to come to them. But when the town’s womenfolk find out about it, they launch a counter-scheme to fend off foreign competition.
Basically the movie is predictable all the way through but it’s also fun and likable. It’s got sweet humor and there’s only one “bad guy” and we can see his final actions coming from a mile off but his missus ends up getting a much better guy who’s loved her from afar (though he thinks he’s hiding it well) for years. I question how that is going to work in this small, Catholic village but the priest doesn’t seem to mind so why should I?
I laughed to see how the womenfolk at first are amused or rolling their eyes about the whole plan then smiled as they turned the tables on their men by inviting some other men who might actually be expected to make the dance to which the Americans are invited via the ad in the Miami Herald. And it was at this point that the men began to see the lovely, though highly opinionated, women who have been right under their noses the whole time.
It’s a “men vs women” film but everyone, or almost everyone, wins in the end. There’s one scene I did like and it’s when one of the young men sits down to talk with his mother about men. He earnestly assures her that not all men are like his Da who drank a lot and ended up running off. “I might occasionally do some of the things he did but that doesn’t mean I’ll end up like him,” he assures her. It was also kind of sad that she needed to be told this by the younger generation.
So, do any Americans actually buy plane tickets and fly from Miami to this small, remote village on the Northwest coast of Ireland? Well, maybe though the response they get might not be what they were expecting. But there are a few unclaimed gents left at the end of the film so…perhaps.