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Film review: Playboys, The

Published: Wednesday, May 13 1992 12:00 a.m. MDT

"The Playboys" is a light romantic comedy-drama set in a small Irish village in 1957.

Robin Wright, best known as "The Princess Bride," has the lead role as Tara, an independent young woman who lives with her sister, and who, in the film's opening moments, has a baby out of wedlock.

She is the scandal of the town, of course, and even finds herself chastised over the pulpit by the local priest - not so much for having the child as for her refusal to reveal the identity of the father. Early in the film a young man (Adrian Pasdar, of "Hear My Song," in a brief cameo) kills himself, causing the locals to assume he was the father.

Meanwhile, Hegarty, the local police sergeant (Albert Finney), who is twice Tara's age and hopelessly smitten with her, tries to win her hand, but Tara isn't interested.

All of this is merely setup, of course, and the film really gets rolling - and begins to display its wry wit - when a traveling troupe of actors, known as "The Playboys," comes to town to perform variety acts and Shakespeare.

The nominal star among the performers is Tom (Aidan Quinn), who is attracted to Tara. She feels an attraction as well but sets it aside, assuming he is just another charming scoundrel passing through. And she may be right.

"The Playboys" is low-key and disarming, and its appeal sneaks up on you. Wright and Quinn are winning performers, as are the other cast members. And there are some riotous set-pieces as the troupe performs outrageous interpretations of everything from "Othello" to "Gone With the Wind."

An adult film, it is rated PG-13 for violence, profanity, vulgarity and sex.

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