I found this on a list of “Favorite Period Pieces”, and once I saw Sophia Myles and Matthew Rhys’ names, I decided to watch it. This movie may not be the cleverest or most historically accurate, but it’s adorable and funny and sweet, all things I appreciate in a romantic comedy.
The Abduction Club follows a group of ‘second sons’ who, knowing they will not inherit, must either marry an heiress, or become a soldier or clergyman. So these men woo heiresses, and then, when they have successfully gotten a girl to love them (or at least consider them), they “abduct” them and get them to marry them. It’s all very lighthearted and merry, with absolutely no harm coming to the women, and it’s always done with the understanding that the woman will say yes because the man has created a relationship with her.
Well, when it is Byrne’s turn (played by Daniel Lapaine), he botches the entire operation, assuming a woman he flattered for five minutes will want to marry him. He’s very wrong. Byrne’s friend Strang (played adorably by Matthew Rhys) abducts the younger sister of Byrne’s choice, one Anne Kennedy (played equally adorably by Sophia Myles) who is really just looking for adventure and wants to go along for the ride. Unfortunately, Anne has an unwanted suitor that chases the quartet all over Ireland trying to get them back, while Byrne and Strang are somewhat successfully wooing the sisters.
(Also, if someone could say this to me in Italian, I’d be pretty successfully wooed as well. A+ Strang.)
It is just as silly as it sounds, but it’s a jolly good time as well. I wasn’t a big fan of Byrne and Catherine, but I absolutely adored Strang and Anne; they’re the comedic couple anyway, and Byrne and Catherine were just kind of like, ok, I know you guys are going to end up together, just get on with it. But they were the dramatic couple, so it had to take longer than forever for Catherine to come around. Strang and Anne however really steal the movie (which is possibly why I recognized those two actors and not the ones who played Byrne and Catherine). Anyway, romance, action, and hi-jinks ensue, all in the name of true love.
*Edit* I watched this movie a second time when I convinced my mother to watch it, and I found that I liked Byrne and Catherine far more than the first time through. Not sure why they rubbed me the wrong way the first time, but I found them charming and more romantic the second time. Although Anne and Strang were still way better.
If you like silly romances and entertaining period pieces, a dash of swashbuckling and beautifully dressed women unrealistically speeding off on horseback, you should watch The Abduction Club ASAP.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Content: a bit of violence and kissing.