It’s official. I have odd taste in movies, especially comedies. An Everlasting Piece is definitely odd. Can a movie about two friends and business partners in Belfast, Northern Ireland – one Catholic and the other Protestant – actually be a comedy? Even if their business is selling toupees? In Barry Levinson‘s hands it can.
An Everlasting Piece is the story of two friends Colm (Barry McEvoy) and George (Brian F. O’Byrne) who are trying to make a living in 1980′s Belfast, using the ever present political and religious strife to their own advantage when they can.
Colm and George are barbers in a mental institution. One day they hear about a patient called The Scalper (comedian Billy Connolly). The Scalper was the only toupee dealer in Northern Ireland and made buckets of money as a result. Until the day he took his job a bit too far and scalped a few would-be clients… literally that is.
George and Colm figure that if they can talk him out of his client list they’ll have a surefire way to make a great living with their own little monopoly. With some quick thinking and a bit of honesty they end up with the list.
In a bit of fun they name their new company The Piece People, figuring they can hit both sides of the religious/political fence by letting Colm, who is Catholic, sell to the Catholics, while George will handle the Protestants. A few sales calls later and they realize that not only is it a lot harder than it looks to sell toupees, but that they have competitors!
It seems their wig supplier has hired a second new company, Toupee or not Toupee, to work the Northern Ireland market as well. The company that can sell 30 wigs before the end of the year will be awarded sole rights to the market, and be set for life.
Mix in Irish humor, the IRA, some British soldiers, rural farmers, and just life in Belfast, and you have one of the quirkiest slice of life-political commentary-buddy film-comedies out there.
And it was funnier for me the second time around once I was used to the heavy Irish accents.