Our protagonist, James Van Der Bexton (Hugh O'Connor - 'My Left Foot'), is an exceedingly wealthy twentysomething who, despite his riches, has trouble finding a girlfriend.

Unable to fathom being dumped by his ex, James decides the best way to meet new girls is through speed dating. However, from the start our hero's ventures seem in vain, as he is hindered by one little shortcoming: every time he talks to a girl he becomes a pathological liar.

Night after night his attempts to make a good impression remain unsuccessful and, after being barred from one speed dating club, he decides to take a different tack, becoming bewildered by a beautiful girl (Montgomery) who starts to frequent his local pub. But in trying to find out more about his mystery woman James begins to stalk her and one night, while looking in her window through a pair of binoculars, he gets knocked down in a hit-and-run and wakes up with amnesia.

His troubles are only starting as his mystery girl has gone missing and the police have only one suspect in mind. With the help of his hospital nurse Susan (Choy), James attempts to uncover what happened that night and also gain some insight and maybe a different perspective about his life along the way.

'Speed Dating' is writer-director Tony Herbert's first feature film and is a thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy set in Dublin. O'Connor is first-rate as the rich underdog looking for love, while Choy is well-cast as the down-to-earth nurse with a heart of gold.

Although the plot is unbelievable and unrealistic, it does not take from the essence of the storyline which is the inward journey taken by the central character as he goes from one chaotic situation to the next.

The film also boasts an impressive supporting cast with some unforgettable characters, from the pot-smoking shrink (Hayman) to the over-eager detective whose use of superlatives knows no bounds (Wycherley of 'Bachelors Walk' fame). There are also many laughs to be found from meeting James' daft, pint-drinking friends and his outlandish family.

As romantic comedies go, this is certainly a lot of fun and a film you should bring someone you met speed dating to.

David McDonnell