Small Engine Repair review

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Unemployed, cuckolded and dismissed as a joke by his shit-kicker neighbours, aspiring country singer Doug (Iain Glen) has plenty of fuel for his self-pitying ballads. But next to his best friend Bill (Steven Mackintosh) – a clapped-out mechanic pathetically hoping his resentful son Tony (Laurence Kinlan) will take over his ailing business – the world is his oyster. Will Doug ever pluck up the courage to leave his western Irish backwater and make a go of his music career? A poignant character study with a pleasing mid-Atlantic sensibility, Niall Heery’s debut feature is ultimately as inconsequential as one of Glen’s clichéd compositions. Good to see a film making effective use of the actor’s grizzled charisma, though, while the dialogue certainly rings truer than Mackintosh’s dodgy Galway accent.

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