It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and we all know what that means! Wait, do we all know what that means? Okay, I’m not entirely sure what that means. However, what I am sure of is that you should be getting into the spirit of the holiday beforehand. Support your Irish heritage! Or if you have no Irish heritage to support then create an Irish alter ego for yourself.
Here are some movies to help you ease your way into St. Patrick’s Day so that when you’re hit by a flying beer can while walking out the front door of your apartment on March 17, at least you can say that you’ve trained for this.
This movie is not merely hilarious, though it is that. It also stars a young Jennifer Anniston. So that’s pretty cool. It is about (how do I describe this movie?) a man who steals a pot of gold from a leprechaun (Warwick Davis) in Ireland. That’s part one. Solid foundation, right? So turns out the leprechaun followed him when he came back to the States. However, it was locked up for ten years in his basement. Now it has been set free by the new owners of the house, and the little fellow starts killing people and generally wreaking havoc. Because, damn, he just has got to get that gold back. This leprechaun ain’t friendly. He’s terrifying. Don’t expect jolly little dances from him.
Gangs of New York
This movie is filled with violence, screaming, and prideful posturing, so naturally it is a perfect pick for St. Patrick’s Day prep. The main character is a young Irishman played by Leonardo DiCaprio. His name is Amsterdam Vallon and he saw his father murdered in a gang fight in New York. Years after the crime, circa 1863, Vallon returns to New York seeking vengeance. The city is completely run by gangs at this point, and the most powerful leader is Bill “The Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), who believes that the Irish shouldn’t be allowed in New York at all. Vallon forms a gang of his own, filled mostly of proud Irishmen, to challenge “The Butcher.”
The Boondock Saints
This film is about two Boston brothers (yes, of Irish blood), the MacManuses (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus), who accidentally kill two mafiosos in self-defense. Turns out they like it. They become veritable purveyors of justice, cleaning up the trash and corruption of the city. After recruiting their Italian mafioso friend Rocco (David Della Rocco) to the cause, they start picking bad guys off one-by-one. Willem Dafoe plays the agile detective who is always on the brother’s heels as they commit their crimes. Though the detective supports their actions in theory, he still must do his job and try and catch them.
Brendan Gleeson (you may know him from such films as In Bruges, 28 Days Later, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) plays a vulgar Irish cop opposite Don Cheadle as a very prim and proper American FBI agent who is investigating a murder. Together they stumble into a world of crime and corruption much bigger than anything Cheadle had anticipated when he signed on to investigate the murder. You may be interested to know that Gleeson is not only playing an Irishman, he is also himself Irish through and through. So… authenticity.
Darby O’Gill and the Little People
Last but not least, this little film follows, you guessed it, Darby O’Gill (mind blown, right?) as he hunts for a pot of gold. But this damn impish leprechaun named King Brian keeps eluding his capture! This movie is highly entertaining and, as you might suspect, on the light side of things. It’s a Disney film, and the Mouse House knows how to handle its fantasy films. Also, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find dancing leprechauns in this film, in case you were worried. ‘Nuff said.