Travelling through the movies – Ireland (Leap Year)

leap_year_poster2Today’s blog is another in an occasional series of moves that feature places that make you want to travel.  The movie is called Leap Year and the location featured is the Republic of Ireland. A blog review of the movie over here on Tranquil Dreams reminded me of the movie and how it would suit one of these Locations blog posts.

Anna Brady (Amy Adams) is a stager, she sets up empty houses or condos for the realtors to show to their potential buyers. She makes it look inviting and she’s very exact. She and her doctor boyfriend are hoping to be accepted to an exclusive condo. They’ve been together some time and have a very professional and yuppie life together.

Her fiance must go to Dublin for a conference and before he goes, he takes her for a “very special dinner”. She hears he has been to a jewellery store and combined with the potential meal, she thinks he’s going to propose. When he doesn’t, she’s crushed. He jets off to Dublin and she realizes that it’s coming up to February 29, a traditional day that women can propose to men, just like her grandparents did.
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So she follows him to Ireland except things do not go as planned. Everything goes wrong and it turns her perfectly ordered life upside down. She meets a handsome, rascally Irishman who owns a failing pub who drives her to Dublin in an old Renault 4 because he needs the money and en route they get to know each other for better or worse, usually worse. How does it end? Does she get the man she thinks she loves or does she end up with the rowdyman? Take a guess! But it doesn’t quite go how you might expect.
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The film didn’t get good reviews overall but I really liked it. I like Amy Adams, I really do. She’s very versatile and in romantic comedies, she really brings a sparkle to the screen. Matthew Goode who plays Declan is gorgeous and if his put-on accent is all over the place, who cares! One particularly big clunker has her landing in Wales due to bad turbulence and taking a boat around to the west coast of Ireland to Dingle in a few hours. That wouldn’t happen in real life and would take a much longer time. Why not just have them cross the Irish Sea and land on the East Coast of Ireland (where, incidentally, the scene of her on the beach was shot)? Because then the cross country journey she has to make to Dublin would take about 30 minutes! ;) Never mind.

Don’t go to Dingle or the Dingle Peninsula or Tipperary expecting to see familiar scenes or villages from the movie. It wasn’t shot in those areas but the movie was indeed filmed in the Republic of Ireland.  There’s a scene where they climb up to the ruins of an abbey and that’s somewhat CGI enhanced but again, it doesn’t really matter. There are ruined abbeys on hills in more than a few places around the country. The scenery is authentic even if it’s not the parts of Ireland that the story takes place in. The narrow roads lined by rock walls and blocked by sheep (yes, they do have highways but where would the fun in that be?). Sweeping low mountains. Friendly inhabitants.

It’s definitely a film you have to take with a grain of salt as far as locations and events go but let that slide and have fun with it. Enjoy the scenery and plan a driving tour around Ireland!
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Here’s a bit more detail about the filming locations:

Leap Year: Where was if filmed?

Ten Myths about the filming locations in Leap Year

IMDB’s location page for the film.