The Brothers McMullen

Burns' engaging first feature is a witty romantic comedy about God, sex and commitment in Long Island, New York. The brothers are: Jack (Mulcahy), happily married and about to fall into a reckless affair; Barry (Burns himself), a bachelor who may just have got the woman of his dreams; and Patrick (McGlone), a devoutly Catholic graduate whose Jewish girlfriend has their whole future mapped out. Circumstances bring the three together again under one roof, where they pool their guilt, bafflement and indecision. Burns wrote and directed the film on a shoestring, but if his stamping ground is determinedly working-class Irish-American, the tone is closer to the gentle Uptown ironies of Woody Allen than to Hal Hartley or Jim Jarmusch. Macho pride is the font of most of the comedy, and it's only in the rather pat conclusion that the clan work out an uneasy rapprochement with their female partners. Burns is hardly the most innovative talent to have emerged this year, but he's found plenty of comic mileage in his own backyard.

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Edward Burns
Screenwriter: Edward Burns
Cast: Jack Mulcahy
Edward Burns
Mike McGlone
Connie Britton
Maxine Bahns
Elizabeth P McKay
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