You could theoretically go drink your guts out at a bar tonight in honor of ye olde Saint Pádraig’s Day, but I prefer the antisocial option, which is to drink your guts out in the comfort of your own home whilst watching some good old fashioned Irish cinema ‘n TV. Fortunately for you, I grew up in a household where we frequently watched any // all Irish content due to a fervent (yet mostly fleeting, all things considered) phase of Irish nationalism that took hold of my mother between roughly the years of 1993-1998 (despite the fact that we were like, third and fourth generation), and so I am well-versed in what the Jesus Mary and Joseph you should watch this evening as you crush pints of Guinness! Here are my top six movie picks (and one bonus TV series) based on which classic films still rule after at least eighteen years, and no, none of them are titled Luck of the Irish // SORRY, DISNEY MOVIE FANZ:
We’ll start things off with my one and only Irish TV pick for this round-up, which also just so happens to be the newest of all the titles I’ll list. Rebellion first aired in January of 2016, and while the jury still seems to be out re: a second season, the entire first batch of episodes is available to stream on Netflix RIGHT NOW! It’s basically about how Irish independence came about (it’s crazy to think it hasn’t even officially been 100 years of emancipation from British rule for them) with the Easter Rising and all that jazz. Having watched the entire thing, I can say it is a very enjoyable period show which left me feeling very riled up about my Irish heritage (even though my immediate family was already in America at that time) and like I wanted to go light some British flags on fire, so if those are the kinds of vibes you’re seeking out on a Friday night, then go forth and stream away!
This movie is by far one of my favorites. (In fact, I re-watched it last night.) For starters, you really can’t go wrong with any Colm Meaney movie, but more importantly, the whole story revolves around a family’s twenty-year-old daughter who gets knocked up by someone whose identity she won’t reveal. It doesn’t take TOO long for us to find out who the father really is (and we totally get why she was hiding this information), but hilarity ensues from start to finish. Plus there are feels without being overly feels-y! Really good, and readily available to rent on Amazon for $3.99. DO IT.
I’m going to guess that out of all the movies I’m suggesting, this one is the most likely to have been seen and/or at least heard of by Y-O-U. If you somehow managed to miss it, though, the plot is this: a man wins the lottery in a small town but dies from the shock of it, and so the townspeople try to cover up the death in order to claim the prize and split it among themselves. Trust me, it sounds way more heartless than it is // they give the old bastard a nice send-off, and obviously hijnx ensue. WILL THEY BE ABLE TO PULL IT OFF?! I refuse to spoil it for you, so rent it on Amazon for $3.99.
Holy eff this is a great movie (bonus: it taught me my first curse word, “feck”, at the ripe old age of four…), and it’s available to rent on Amazon for $3.99. It’s about white working-class Dubliners who start a soul band (Colm Meaney strikes again, too!), and it’s pretty much the funniest ever, with the addition of the occasional #DRAMACOUCH. Definitely scope it if you can, and also give the soundtrack a listen, ’cause it’s still pretty good // RIP BURNS FAMILY CASSETTE TAPE.
This one’s about two rival child gangs, one of which is poor, and the other of which is rich. (Obviously we are rooting for the proper paupers in this case.) They find ways to ruin each other’s lives for fun via slingshots and curse words and other such tomfoolery (and it IS fun), but eventually (though not really until the end), shit gets pretty real. (DON’T WORRY, NO ONE DIES, BUT THERE ARE FEELINGS.) Colm Meaney is involved YET AGAIN, plus Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth from Game of Thrones) plays the schoolteacher. Rent it for $2.99 on Amazon RIGHT HERE!
*PS sometimes I listen to the soundtrack, which is probably a pretty loserly thing to do considering there are French horns involved.
This movie really stressed me the fuck out as a child, because it’s basically about a baby who is in a cradle on the shore of a beach when a flock of seagulls attacks all the adults, and the cradle is “stolen” by the sea. Once the adults realize what’s happened, they try to chase after the cradle as it drifts away, but a big storm suddenly comes, and then they pretty much give up trying to save the baby after like five minutes. (Whatever happened to perseverance?!) Fast-forward a few years to when the baby’s older sister discovers that her little brother didn’t even die, but instead was totally raised by seals! (Or like, selkies, which are seals that can shed their skin to look like humans on dry land.) Anyway, now that I am a grown-up person, I am no longer terrified of this movie and think it’s pretty dope in a magical realism kind of way, and you should probably watch it for $2.99 via Amazon:
This one’s got Gabriel Byrne AND Ellen Barkin AND Colm Meaney AND David Kelly, so with that cast alone, it was already destined to be a perma-winner. The plot centers on Byrne’s character’s two sons, who (after their grandfather, played by Kelly, finds a wild horse) ride off into the Irish sunset (just kidding, there’s no sun in Ireland!) to fulfill their dreams of becoming cowboys // avoiding social services // etc. As it turns out, this horse is magical (for real), and ends up restoring everyone’s faith in Irish Travelers, which is a fancy name for gypsies. If you like adventures and magic and LOLs and feels, then this is for you. It used to be available on Netflix, but now you’ll have to be a hackerman to find it. (In my opinion, very worth the effort.)