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THE BOYS AND GIRL OF COUNTY CLARE

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Set in rural Ireland in the mid-1960s, John Irvin's light comedy/melodrama finds two long estranged brothers -- the irascible Jimmy (Colm Meany), who 20 years ago fled to Liverpool, and the gentler John Joe (Bernard Hill), who remained on the family farm -- taking their fight public. Each heads a traditional ceili band and hopes to best the other at the annual all-Ireland competition. Into this froth of back-biting and fiddling Irvin tosses some attractive young musicians, including Andrea Corr (of The Corrs), to chase love's first blush, and some bitter memories to give the slight story a punch of soap opera. The film stays just this side of twee, thanks mainly to Jimmy's colorfully profane tongue. The conclusion is a bit of a cheat, but this lightweight charmer is sure to generate a few chuckles and set a few toes tapping. Starts Fri., June 17. Regent Square (AH)

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