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When Brendan met Trudy

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Brendan (Peter McDonald), a teacher and movie buff, baritone and loner, lies on a Dublin street, face-down in a puddle. Paraphrasing William Holden at the start of Sunset Boulevard, he invites us to go back with him to "the day it all started." Brendan meets Trudy (Flora Montgomery), a Montessori teacher, in a pub. They agree to meet again, for a movie, but Trudy doesn't show up. Brendan goes looking and finds her. They try again. The relationship brings Brendan to places he's never known - parties, the supermarket, friendship with a Nigerian refugee named Edgar - and the sex is glorious. For the first time in his adult life Brendan is having fun.

Then Brendan learns that Trudy is actually a burglar. He begins to enjoy a life of crime - and the sex is even better. Until he brings her to meet his family; the encounter with Nuala, the sister from hell, brings the relationship to a screaming end. Brendan's pleas are useless - he even lies facedown in a puddle, pretending he has been hit by a car. But it's over. Some days later, he sees on the news that Edgar is being deported. He rushes to help Edgar, assaults and is assaulted by the Gardai - live on television. Impressed, Trudy agrees to take him back - if he agrees to rob Nuala's house with her. Mission accomplished, they confess their love in the getaway car. Their next assignment is Brendan's idea: the school - a consignment of new computers. The attempted heist is interrupted and Trudy gives herself up to protect Brendan.

He watches her trial from the back of the court. She is sentenced to two years. Brendan is now miserable - he drags his guilt and loneliness behind him. The heroes of his favourite movies, watched on television as he flicks channels to avoid them, seem to mock him with their courage and selflessness. Eventually, he musters the courage to visit Trudy. They are reconciled. Brendan sings Panis angelicus and is hauled from the visiting room. He has never been so happy.

Also starring Marie Mullen, Pauline Mclynn, Don Wycherley and Gabriel Byrne. Written by Roddy Doyle, directed by Kieron J Walsh.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Field Agent Keith Dehle

Theatrical report

Brendan is a school teacher, a baritone in a choir and a film enthusiast. While seemingly content with his routine and regimented life, he is definitely “socially challenged”.

Trudy, on the other hand, is a confident, good-looking and outgoing Montessori teacher. The contrast between the two is like chalk and cheese. But Trudy shows an interest in Brendan and he isn't going to let the opportunity pass him buy. Their relationship develops, largely through having great sex together. Then Brendan finds out she is not quite what she makes out to be. His life is never going to be quite the same again.

Although the concept of the two personalities forming a relationship may seem a little far fetched, it nevertheless provides an basis for an excellent comedy. Overall, the viewer may have some feelings of sympathy for Brendan's awkwardness and embarrassing moments. However, it is these moments together with his inability to focus on his work and students, and the stark contrast between Brendan and Trudy and his "typically middle class" family which has the audience in stiches. By the end of the film, Brendan is still awkward but viewed in a different light and regarded with a sense of admiration.

Set in Ireland, it is necessary to listen closely to the dialogue as the accents sometimes make it a little difficult to understand. This should not deter anyone as the accents seem to make the humour that much more richer. In any case the film doesn't just rely on a humourous dialogue to get the audience laughing.

When Brendan met Trudy is true comedy entertainment from start to finish. It is packed full of fresh humour and well worth checking out.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • *

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level coarse language, medium level sex scenes)

Surveillance time

94 minutes (1:34 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD rental: 14 November 2001
VHS rental: 14 November 2001

Cinema surveillance images

When Brendan met Trudy image
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