The MatchMaker
  • Book Store Admin
  • DVD's
  • Comments Off on The MatchMaker

The Matchmaker is a 1997 American romantic comedy film starring Janeane Garofalo.


Marcy Tizard (Janeane Garofalo) is assistant to Senator John McGlory (Jay O. Sanders) from Boston, Massachusetts. In an attempt to court the Irish-American vote in a tough re-election battle, the bumbling senator s chief of staff, Nick (Denis Leary), sends Marcy to Ireland to find McGlory s relatives or ancestors.

Marcy arrives at the fictional village of Ballinagra (Irish: Baile na Grá, literally the Town of Love) as it is preparing for the annual matchmaking festival. She attracts the attention of two rival professional matchmakers, Dermot (Milo O Shea) and Millie (Rosaleen Linehan), as well as roguish bartender Sean (David O Hara).

The locals tolerate her genealogical search while trying to match her with various bachelors. Sean tries to woo Marcy despite her resistance to his boorish manners. After they have begun their romance, they return home to Sean s house one afternoon to find his estranged wife Moira (Saffron Burrows) waiting for them. Marcy leaves Sean, upset that he did not disclose his marriage to her.

McGlory and Nick arrive in Ballinagra, although Marcy s been unable to locate any McGlory relatives. McGlory discovers Sean s wife s maiden name is Kennedy and brings her back to Boston as his fiancée just in time for the election, and wins by a small margin. While at the victory party, McGlory s father (Robert Mandan) reveals privately to Marcy that the family is Hungarian, not Irish. The family name had been changed at Ellis Island when they immigrated, but as they settled in Boston with its large Irish population, he never told his son their true lineage.

Sean follows Marcy to Boston, and they reconcile.


Box office

The film earned $1,378,930 in its first weekend and had a total gross of $3,392,080 in 705 theatres.

Critical response

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 50% based on reviews from 32 critics, with an average rating of 5.5 out of 10 reviews.

Roger Ebert gives the film 3 out of 4 stars. Ebert praises Garofalo, calling her one of the most engaging actresses around and admiring her balance of her cynical intelligence and the warmth of her smile . Ebert finds the Irish centre of the film charming and says the Boston bookends are distracting.

The Irish Independent notes: Bad things happen whenever Hollywood and Ireland collide and this rather thin comedy is no exception but say the film is helped by the central performance of Janeane Garofalo.

In a 2003 interview, when asked what films from her career she was happiest with, Garofalo included The Matchmaker among the few films she mentioned.

Cultural references

Marcy s expectations clash with a host of colourful rural Irish characters in the tradition of such other works as The Irish R.M.

Filming took place on location in the town of Roundstone, County Galway. Besides the personalities of the villagers, the film establishes a sense of place through a generous use of village scenes, the local surrounding farms and a trip to the Aran Islands, with cavorting near Dún Aengus.

Worked into the story is a parody of Senator John Kerry s family background. His paternal grandfather was from Eastern Europe, picking a new name once arriving in America and blending into the Irish Catholic community in Boston.


Irish music is heard frequently throughout, both as background music and in scenes where it is performed live as when an Irishman (Vincent Walsh) competes for a kiss from Marcy with his sean-nós rendition of Raglan Road .

The soundtrack features Haunted by Shane MacGowan and Sinéad O Connor. Irish Heartbeat by Van Morrison and The Chieftains plays during the end credits. World Party s 1997 song She s the One is also included on the soundtrack.

Year 1997
ReleaseDate 1997-10-03
RuntimeMins 97
RuntimeStr 1h 37min
Plot Marcy is an assistant to Senator John McGlory, who is having problems with a re-election campaign. Desperate for Irish votes, McGlory’s chief of staff Nick sends Marcy to Ireland to trace McGlory’s relatives or ancestors. Marcy ar…
Directors Mark Joffe
Writers Greg Dinner, Karen Janszen, Louis Nowra
Stars Janeane Garofalo, David O’Hara, Milo O’Shea
Produced by Nicky Kentish Barnes, Tim Bevan, Liza Chasin, Eric Fellner, Lyn Goleby, Debra Hayward, Katy McGuinness, Luc Roeg
Music by John Altman
Cinematography by Ellery Ryan
Film Editing by Paul Martin Smith
Production Design by Mark Geraghty
Art Direction by Terry Pritchard
Costume Design by Howard Burden
Makeup Department Jean Carney, Orla Carrol, Jerry DeCarlo, Lorraine Glynn, Maire O Sullivan, Denise Watson, Trish Seeney, Joe Whelan
Production Management Tania Blunden, Jon Finn, Michael Williams
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Derek Emanuel, Euan Keddie, Suzanne McAuley, David Morris, Barbara Mulcahy, Suzanne Nicell, Georgina O Connor, Aoife Thunder, David Vos
Art Department Maximilian Aita, Russ Bailey, Anne Bugatch, Johnny Byrne, Manya Cetlin, Clodagh Conroy, Fiona Daly, Manus Daly, Roger Danchik, Mick Flood, David Gulick, Jane Gulick, Tony Kelly, John Lamon, Daragh Lewis, Owen Monaghan, Kris Moran, Matt Mulcrone, Owen Murnane, Tony Murnane, Peter E. Nauyokas, William O Brien, Eamonn O Higgins, Larry O Toole, Bob Pritchard, John Purdy, Robbie Reilly, Bobby Richardson, Robbie Richardson, Kathleen Rosen, Derek Wallace, Dave Whelan, Kenneth Salter
Sound Department Matthew Bank, Rodney Berling, Ed Colyer, Graham Daniel, Brendan Deasy, James Feltham, Dunmat Goulet, Michelle Greaves, Nigel Heath, Rod Howick, Brian Masterson, Ray Merrin, Christopher O Donnell, Barry O Sullivan, Lionel Selwyn, Julian Slater, Kevin Taylor, Warren A. Weberg, Tom Williams
Special Effects by Graham Bushe, Mick Doyle, Maurice Foley
Stunts Sarah Buckley, Brendan Condren, Joe Condren, Patrick Condren, Martin Grace, Dominick Hewitt, Donal O Farrell, Alan Walsh, Tony Condren
Camera and Electrical Department Mikki Ansin, Garret Baldwin, Eric Boyle, Paul Brinkworth, Neil Brown, Stephen Bruen, Alan Butler, John Carr, Paul Chedlow, Kermit Cole, Fionn Comerford, Louis Conroy, Seamus Corcoran, Sean Corcoran, Noel Cullen, Scott D. Davis, Mike DeCristofaro, David Fitzgerald, William L. Flanagan, Stephen Forbes, David Grennan, Roger Kenney, Sarco Kirklian, Alice Madden, Roger Marbury, Rebekah V. Michaels, Brian A. Pitts, Michael E. Reynolds, Brian Tufano, Jill Tufts, Simon Werry, Neil Brown, Stefan Forbes
Casting Department Melissa Fulham, Cathy Sandrich Gelfond, Bruno Hare, Daniel Hubbard, John Hubbard, Ros Hubbard, Greg Kyle, Elizabeth Lang, Mia Levinson, Lisa Lobel, Amanda Mackey, Mary Maguire, Angela Peri, Anne Clements, Maria Picaso
Costume and Wardrobe Department Susan Anderson, Allison Byrne, Jill Graves Power, Gill Shaw
Editorial Department David Burrows, Rosemary Dority, James Lingard, Bridget Lyon, John Stanborough, Chris Wyatt, Ian Seymour
Location Management Jennifer Cogswell, Peter Conway, Jody Cosgrove, Mark Fitzgerald, Colm Nolan, Eric Green
Music Department Johnny Connolly, Jimmy Fitzgerald, Geoff Foster, Jason Graves, Paul Gunning, Karen Hamil, Michael Higham, John C. Hoban, Trisha Hutton, Tommy Keane, Peter Keleran, Shane McDonnell, Sammy Rohan, Padraig Stevens, Kirsten Lane
Script and Continuity Department Emer Conroy
Transportation Department Liam Agar, Raymond Boyd, Harry Bradshaw, Bob Carnes, Stephen Carroll, Alan Crozier, Daithi Curran, Jimmy Doyle, Colin Duffin, Jim Flynn, Aaran Lupton, Seamus McCabe, Eamonn Murphy, Colie Sharkey, Pat Smallwood, John J. Thompson, Hugh Wasson
Additional Crew Chris Allies, Kathy Archer Buck, Robert Bicknell, Keith Bryant, Deirdre Byrne, Antony Carroll, Rashid Chinchanwala, Naomi Cohen, Jenny Crawford, Christine V. Desrochers, Mary Donovan, Juliette Dow, Olive Dryman, Cyril Gibbons, Amelia Granger, Eamonn Griffin, Janette Hamill, Jeff Heinbach, Stacie Heintze, James Hickey, Paddy Hiney, Rachel Holroyd, Sarah Joyce, Nina Khoshaba, Jessica Kirsh, Karen Lupton, Rita Maloney, Angela Morrison, Poll Moussoulides, Colm Nagle, Michael Nee, Michael O Corraoin, Anne O Donoghue, Meave O Hara, Elisabeth O Kelly, Louise O Malley, John O Sullivan, Mary Owens, Lisa Parker, Luke Ramsey, Tammy Riley-Smith, Albert G. Ruben, Tom Sellitti, Noleen Sharkey, Jim Shortall, Emma Thomas, Kris Thykier, Martin Coley Tom, Blanaid Travers, John Wall, Kara Welker, Marc Hassan, Brandon Hollyer, Christian J. Hollyer
Thanks Glen Colson, Judy Hofflund, Lydia Livingstone, Steff Roeg
Genres Comedy, Romance
Companies Good Film Company, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Working Title Films
Countries Ireland, UK, USA
Languages English
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 6.5
ImDbRatingVotes 5729
Keywords paddywhackery,ireland,matchmaker,political advisor,irish american