Dancing at Lughnasa

Bomb Rating: 

I thought this was going to be some kind of movie like "StrictlyBallroom" or "Lambada" because -- and excuse me for thinking this -- the word "dancing" is in the title. Now I'm no fan of dancing, but you steel yourself like you're about to attend an autopsy or something and you go to the movie and... well, a guy ought to get his dancing and be able to reconcile his mood with his expectations. As it was, I left the theater all discombobulated and out of sorts.

The "dancing" in "Dancing at Lughnasa" takes place for a brief few minutes and tragically involves neither pole nor thong bikini. Toward the end of the film, the five sisters Mundy -- Kate (Meryl Streep), Christina (Catherine McCormack), Maggie (Kathy Burke), Rose (Sophie Thompson) and Agnes (Brid Brennan) -- walk into their little Irish yard and start spinning about. This is supposed to have some significance because young Michael (Darrell Johnston) is narrating the story as an adult and seems to remember this impromptu yard dance as being a seminal event in his young, pathetic life.

For all the dancing in this so-called dancing film, it might as well have been called "Talking at Lughnasa," "Watching the Grass Grow at Lughnasa" or "Cracking Walnuts Between My Ass Cheeks at Lughnasa." Good Lord, if you're going to lie, why not lie grandly and try to trick actual males into attending with a title like "Exploding Cop Cars at Lughnasa," " Unnhibited Buxom Lesbian Cheerleaders at Lughnasa" or "Meryl Streep: Too Hot for TV."

Maybe an even a better title would have been "Being Judgmental at Lughnasa" because that's about all Kate does. She's a teacher, a religious zealot, and wound tighter than Jerry Falwell at a screening of "Star Whores, Episode I: Grab Some Men-Ass." I suppose if the film taught me anything it was that our moments of happiness can be so few and fleeting that we ought to cherish them. Naturally, I saw this as a clear sign from God to bail out of the theater before things got any more boring in Lughnasa.

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