Likable coming-of-age tale about Irish teens in Montauk, N.Y., features strong performances from three young leads. Nelson Hume’s assured feature debut is spot-on in its portrayal of work-and-play summers of young students visiting the U.S. Pic has potential to do reasonably well in Ireland, though its unfamiliar setting and cast, mainly of Irish unknowns, may make international theatrical markets a tougher sell.
Pic opens in Dublin, where affable rogue Davin (Cillian Murphy), desperate to extricate himself from a lousy relationship, tags along with a group of college students, who are off to work on Long Island’s beach resorts. The only illegal among them, Davin lives a larger-than-life existence, well beyond his means. Yet despite — or perhaps because of — his bad-boy charms, Davin soon hits it off with Aideen (Paloma Baeza), whose job as taxi dispatcher provides many of pic’s comic highlights.
The students treat these summers as working holidays. Far from parental eyes, they want to taste the better life, and parties and barroom boxing bouts are the norm. Dialogue is well honed, and story takes several twists and turns on itsway to a conventional, though satisfactory, ending.
Murphy plays Davin well, with a coyness that will endear him to auds. Baeza is impressive as a character who could have come off merely as a whiner, while Barry Ward steals the show as the gawky Robert, who comes of age as houseboy for wealthy island artist Carolyn (Ingeborga Dapkunaite). The High Llamas add a buoyant and quirky “Pet Sounds”–type soundtrack to the summer cocktail.