Catholic Colm and Protestant George are a pair of barbers who cut hair at a Belfast insane asylum "sometime during the 1980s" -- and based on that information alone you should be able to ascertain that "An Everlasting Piece" is supposed to be a comedy.
Add the fact that they've decided to go into the door-to-door toupee business (there is such a thing?), and this movie should have had me rolling in the aisles. Especially with a director like Barry Levinson ("Diner," "Liberty Heights," "Wag the Dog") at the helm. But while some members of the audience were laughing uncontrollably during a recent preview screening, about half of us were dead silent through the whole thing -- wondering what the rest of them found so amusing.
The plot of this screwball comedy is paper-thin: Colm (played by Barry McEvoy, the film's screenwriter) and George (Brian F. O'Byrne) are competing against a cross-town rug rival for exclusive rights to sell men's wigs in Northern Ireland. Why is the wig trade a monopoly-or-nothing business? Don't ask any logical questions of this movie because you won't get an answer. Such points shouldn't matter in a screwball comedy anyway, and had I been one of the laughers I probably would have forgiven such elements of nonsense.
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