10 romantic Irish films you should watch over Christmas

10 romantic Irish films you should watch over Christmas

THERE’S NOTHING better than a night in, watching a film with that special someone.

And whether it’s Christmas Day, or the period of time before New Years spent lounging on the couch, or just a quiet Saturday night together, it pays to be in the know when it comes to choosing the perfect film to enjoy together.

Fortunately, the Irish Post has got you covered with a list of 10 distinctly Irish films that are perfect for anyone in the mood for something a little romantic.

From critically-acclaimed favourites, established classis and some suitably cheesy efforts, these films can be enjoyed together, alone or in the company of friends.

10. Brooklyn

Saoirse Ronan became a household name with this Nick Hornby-scripted tale of an Irish immigrant who lands in 1950s Brooklyn and quickly falls in love with an Italian American local.

But when her past catches up with her she’s forced to choose between the new life she has built for herself and the one waiting for her back home in Ireland. A modern classic

9. The Brylcreem Boys

Set within the confines of an Irish prisoner of war camp, this Second World War romantic comedy centres on a love triangle involving Billy Campbell’s interned Canadian pilot Miles Keogh and Angus Macfadyen’s German pilot Rudolph Von Stegenbeck who find themselves interned on the Emerald Isle and battling for the heart of local woman Mattie Guerin (Jean Butler).

Gabriel Byrne also shines as the unceasingly vigilant internment camp commander in this enjoyably light 1940s affair.

8. P.S. I Love You

Gerard Butler’s Irish accent may have been questionable at best, but P.S. I Love You still succeeds in tugging at the heartstrings.

It's the story of a young widow (Hilary Swank) who discovers her late husband left her 10 messages designed to help her move on from the pain of his sudden passing and start a new life.

Cheesy but guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye.

7. The Boxer

No list of Irish films would be complete without a turn from Daniel Day-Lewis. In this instance, the Irish Post has plumped for Jim Sheridan’s The Boxer.

It tells the story of a once-promising fighter (Day-Lewis) trying to rebuild his life after spending 14 years behind bars for his involvement in the IRA.

But while his old Belfast neighbourhood is still riddled with the elements that saw him turn to crime all those years ago, a reunion with an old flame provides hope for a better future.

6. Once

Made on a budget of just €112,000 after years in development with the Irish Film Board, John Carney’s Irish romantic musical drama is rightly regarded as one of the best of its genre.

The film works thanks to a combination of  spellbinding songs and emotive performances from its two charming leads Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

The simple story of a busker and an immigrant who spend a week together writing and recording songs telling their story of love, Once makes for irresistible viewing.

5. The Matchmaker

A fun, lightweight romantic comedy, The Matchmaker centres on Jeanne Garofalo’s Marcy who, as assistant to a US senator, is tasked with visiting Ireland to trace her boss’s ancestors.

Upon arrival in the village of Ballinagra, however, Marcy soon finds herself the centre of attention with an annual Matchmaking Festival in full swing.

Based on a script co-written by Father Ted’s Graham Linehan, The Matchmaker gets by on charm and a few warm laughs and is sure to stir up memories of home.

4. Sing Street

John Carney returned to a familiar setting for this 1980s Dublin-set teen comedy drama.

It tells the story of a young boy attempting to escape a troubled family life by starting a band with his friends in an attempt at impressing a mysterious girl he likes.

A feel-good musical of the highest order, Sing Street is packed full of great songs and some stellar performances from its mostly Irish cast. A must-watch.

3. Leap Year

One to file in the so-bad-its-good category, Leap Year isn’t going to win any awards for subtly or an entirely accurate portrait of life in Ireland.

Amy Adams nevertheless puts in a good shift as Anna Brady, an American who travels to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend as the Irish tradition dictates.

Things don’t quite go to plan though. A suitably naff affair, this one has to be seen to be believed.

2. The Quiet Man

A treasured Technicolor classic, The Quiet Man stars John Wayne as a retired American boxer who returns to the village of his birth back home in Ireland.

While there he strikes up a romance with fiery local woman Mary Kate Danaher, played by the legenary Maureen O’Hara. A classic romantic comedy drama ensues.

1. Far And Away

Ron Howard’s epic romantic adventure stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as Irish immigrants seeking fame and fortune in 1890s America.

A historical blockbuster that’s huge in scale and features plenty of memorable supporting turns, (though Cruise struggles with the Irish accent) the pair are in their element with their obvious on-screen chemistry helping iron-out some of the film’s imperfections. A sprawling historical romance to rival Titanic.