The Most Fertile Man in Ireland
Time Out saysGinger-topped dork Eamonn Manley (Marshall) may suffer from crippling shyness towards the opposite sex, but he has a secret weapon. Losing his virginity at 24 when he's leapt upon by lubricious Mary Mallory (O'Neill), he's understandably shocked by the subsequent news that his indefatigable spermatozoa broke their way through several layers of protection. Word gets out and infertile women are soon beating a path to his door in such numbers that he has an agent (Gallagher) working the phones. How to explain all that to Rosie (Clarke), the comely undertaker's assistant who makes his heart beat fastest? It should be noted that we're aiming rather higher than mere farce here, since the Belfast setting inevitably brings into play, with not unamusing results, both religion and politics. The major problem is that the film shoots its load way too early. Having delivered up its choicest comic conceits, it droops alarmingly when attempting to engage with deeper emotions of fatherhood and responsibility. After establishing Eamonn as a geeky figure of fun, it's simply too much of a call to get serious on us, nothwithstanding energetic direction and hard-working support performances. The eagerness to please proves semi-infectious, but half-funny, half-likeable and half-cocked don't really cut it on the big screen.