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Speed Dating (DVD Review)

17 Jan, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 1/19/10
$24.95 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for language.
Stars Hugh O’Conor, David Hayman, Flora Montgomery, Don Wycherley, Alex Reid, Nora-Jane Noone, Emma Choy.

Boyish James Van Der Bexton (Hugh O’Conor) comes from the lap of luxury (with a wealthy but dysfunctional father) and has resorted to speed dating — humorous, three-minute meet-and-greets with the opposite sex — after long-time girlfriend Jennifer (Flora Montgomery) broke his heart, abandoning him for another guy.

With loser friends more interested in solving crossword puzzles in less than five minutes, listening to metal/gothic rock in dimly lit bars or hiring escorts, James nearly empties a local book store seeking reading assistance to make himself appear more mysterious to women.

In his quest, James eyes, then tracks elusive Victoria Grant (Olga Wehrly) to her apartment, only to get hit by a car and suffer amnesia when eluding police he thinks she has called after spotting him on a neighboring roof spying on her.

While recovering in the hospital, nurse Susan King (endearing newcomer Emma Choy) takes an interest in helping James reconnect with his life — and hers.

The ensuing comedy of errors transforms this quirky low-budget Irish film into an enjoyable viewing experience underscored by notable performances, including inept detective/tough guy Noel Long (Don Wycherley), whose mispronouncing of “Van Der Bexton” helped Wycherley earn a best supporting actor nomination for the 2008 Irish Film and Television Awards.

An audience favorite at several independent film festivals, Speed Dating features a delightful ensemble cast, including David Hayman as an ex-pot-fueled hippie turned shrink, Charlotte Bradley as James’ ever-intoxicated mother, and Nora-Jane Noone as eccentric sister Juliet, who changes her name with each new boyfriend.   

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