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Friday, May 1 kicks off the annual summer blockbuster movie season. This year’s much-anticipated flicks include action flicks like “Land of the Lost” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” books-turned-films like Jodi Picoult’s “My Sister’s Keeper” and Audrey Niffenegger “The Time Traveler’s Wife.”
Many of this summer’s films have Irish ties, from actors with Irish roots, to films set in Ireland, there’s plenty of stuff to keep the Irish American movie-goer happy.
Pencil these movie release dates into your schedule:
Friday, May 1
“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”
This flick stars rom-com vet Matthew McConaughey, who has Irish roots on both sides of his family. McConaughey stars as Connor Mead, a womanizer who’s haunted Dickens-style by ghosts of girlfriends he’s hurt in the past. For the sappy Irish American.
Friday, May 22
The critically-acclaimed film from British director Steve McQueen is finally being released to general audiences in the U.S. “Hunger,” starring Irishman Michael Fassbender, is a film about the last six weeks of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sand’s life. the film has won several awards, the most notable being the 2008 Camera D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. For the political rish American.
Friday, June 5
“Land of the Lost”
Proud Irish American Will Ferrell stars in the movie version of the hit 1970s television series as a scientist who’s sucked into a space-time vortex and lands in the time of the dinosaurs. The film has an all-star Irish cast, including Irish-English star Anna Friel and Irish-American funnyman Danny McBride. For the nostalgic Irish American.
Friday, June 26
“My Sister’s Keeper”
Abigail Breslin, who’s appeared on Irish America magazine’s Top 100 list, stars in the film version of Jodi Picoult’s 11th novel about a leukemia-stricken girl and her younger sister (Breslin), who learns she was purposely conceived in order to provide a donor match. For the sensitive Irish American.
Friday, July 10
“I Love You, Beth Cooper”
“Simpsons” and “Beavis and Butthead” writer Larry Doyle, the son of Irish immigrants, has turned his award-winning first novel into a movie set at Buffalo Grove High School, his real-life Illinois alma mater. A nerdy high school valedictorian proclaims his love for the hottest girl in school (played by Hayden Panettiere) during his graduation speech. For the Irish American underdog fan.
Wednesday, July 15
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
Irish actress Evanna Lynch of County Louth is back as Luna “Looney” Lovegood in the latest “Harry Potter” installment. In the film, which was originally scheduled for a fall 2008 release, Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts, and must deal his hormones while he learns more about Voldemort’s dark past. For the Irish American fantasy fan.
Wednesday, July 29
A rom-com on the more dramatic side, “Adam” stars Irish-Australian actress Rose Byrne and handsome English actor Hugh Dancy. The Irish Rose plays Beth, a brainy beauty who develops a relationship with her strange, lonely and autisitc neighbor (Dancy). For the quirky Irish American.
“The Time Traveler’s Wife”
Irish-Canadian “Notebook” actress Rachel McAdams stars in this beautiful novel-turned-film. McAdams is the time traveler’s wife, while Australian actor Eric Bana is the time traveler himself. The romantic drama shows how love transcends over time – whether it’s moving forward or backward. For the passionate Irish American.
Friday, August 14
“The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard”
This comedy from Irish Americans Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s production company follows Don Ready, a used-car liquidator, as he tries to save a broke local car dealership from bankruptcy. The flick is set to star Jeremy Piven and Ving Rhames. For the goofy Irish American.
Friday, August 21
This movie features a Scots-Irish American we haven’t seen on screen in a while – Michael Keaton. “Post Grad” follows a recent college grad (Alexis Bledel) as she moves back home with her eccentric family after graduation and tries to find a job, a boyfriend and the meaning of life. Keaton plays her stubborn dad, while the hilarious Irish American Jane Lynch plays her thrifty mom. For the angsty Irish American.
Friday, August 28
“The Boat That Rocked”
Rounding out the Irish American summer films is a movie based on a true story. Set in 1960s England, “The Boat That Rocked” is about a pirate radio station and its rogue pop and rock-loving DJs that stood up to their country’s conservative government. Irish-Jewish American Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a rock ‘n roll DJ, while Northern Irishman Kenneth Branagh plays a wet blanket government official. For the rebellious Irish American.