We gave it a C+
The feel-good ethnocomedy, whether its table is set with fried chicken or matzo or Guinness, is necessarily, often pleasantly square. In The Boys and Girl From County Clare, traditional Irish values and traditional Irish stereotypes are defended handily — a bit too handily, given the mid-’60s setting — by warring ceilidh bands headed by estranged brothers. The younger (Colm Meaney) traded family responsibilities for Liverpudlian exile; the elder (The Lord of the Rings‘ Bernard Hill) kept the home fires burning. A music competition on their native sod sets the stage for rivalry, reconciliation, and dialogue (”It’s all about the music!”) that’s been boiled longer than Hibernian cuisine. We get a few winks about the disruptions, musical and otherwise, racking the world outside, but Boys is really just a long fiddle session in a very familiar pub. It’s not quite Epcot Ireland, though: When people drink (and they drink a lot — they’re Irish, ye see!), they also vomit. A lot.