Movies to get you into the Irish spirit

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With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, you may be looking for some form of entertainment to keep you occupied before the bars open. There’s nothing like sitting back and relaxing with a green beverage in your hand and popping in an Irish flick.

Irish films come in many different forms. There’s the classic Irish movie that depicts events that occurred in the history of the green country. Then you have films that are produced by Hollywood that are created to attract the female sentimental side. There’s also that Irish film that really isn’t Irish at all, but was filmed in Ireland. So in reality, they’re using the scenic views the country is proud of, and passing it off as some other country. Word has it that Ireland gives Hollywood great deals to film on their land. Hey, whatever saves money, right?

So let’s start off with a recent classic. Who could ever forget the charming Amy Adams as Anna in “Leap Year” as she decides to go against the norms of society and propose to her boyfriend on leap year in Ireland, which is supposedly the only place in the world that allows this to happen.

We see Anna chase her boyfriend to Ireland, complaining every step of the way, not embracing the culture and thoroughly offending almost every Irish person she comes in contact with. However, this does not stop Matthew Goode, who plays Declan, from falling in love with her.

In this movie, the inability to accept and embrace a different culture is incredibly appealing to the local heartthrob. I would never want to spoil this ending for you, so while I’m sure you’re on the edge of your chair, I just wouldn’t feel right ruining this ending, as if you already can’t guess what will happen.

If you’re looking for a little more action, the 2002 hit “Gangs of New York” is definitely worth checking out. The Academy Award nominated film, which included a nod for best picture, takes us back to the time right around the Civil War. It addresses issues between American-born citizens and the Irish-Americans who were immigrating to the United States during that time.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays an Irish-American who witnesses his father killed by a native-born American. The movie follows him as he attempts to avenge his father’s death.

The year this film was nominated for best picture, the others in that category included “Chicago” and “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” If DiCaprio’s movie was in a category alongside these films, it is usually safe to assume it’s worth viewing.

Naturally, I saved the absolute best for last. Disney always knows how to put a smile on your face. Particularly in Disney Channel’s Original Movie “The Luck of the Irish” (2001).

While Ryan Merriman is one of the better actors the Disney Channel has seen, let’s not get carried away here. In short, Ryan’s character, Kyle Johnson, finds that he’s incredibly lucky.

He is the star of the high school basketball team and is the luckiest high school student. Obviously, the explanation behind it is that he is Irish and his mom’s side of the family is full of leprechauns.

He discovers this after he has an incredibly bad day, realizes his lucky gold coin was stolen and comes home to find his mom about as tall as his pinky finger.

The rest of the story involves his long lost multi-century-old grandfather coming into the picture and helping him defeat an evil leprechaun so he can get his family’s coin and “luck” back. I’m sure Disney will play this during the week of St. Patrick’s Day, so don’t worry, you won’t miss out. Now, I know after reading this you can’t wait to get out there and rent these movies (especially the Disney one), but I can only elaborate on a few. So while these are just a few of movies that are relative to the Irish culture in some sort, there are many other movies out there.

Some different movies to check out are “P.S. I Love You,” “Far and Away” and “The Matchmaker.” So this St. Patrick’s Day, throw out the term “Irish Movies” in Google and see what comes up.

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