Directed by Liz Gill, starring Keith McErlean, Flora Montgomery, Sean Campion, Fiona Glascott, Fiona O'Shaughnessy, Peter Gaynor and Jean Butler.
Romantic comedy is a devilishly hard genre to pull off, requiring a pin-point script and strong performances to work. 'Goldfish Memory's Irish precedents, Gerry Stembridge's admirably deft 'About Adam' and Kieron J Walsh's risible 'When Brendan Met Trudy', are perfect examples of how and how not to execute a relationship-based comedy.
According to legend, a goldfish has a memory of three seconds. This over-complicated morass of break-ups and couplings (when a character loses their lover, another one pops up a second later) resonates for about as long. In the midst of this whirlwind of nookie, the actors struggle to make an impression with limited screen time. Keith McErlean offers a slightly smarter reprise of his 'Bachelor's Walk' character, while Fiona O'Shaughnessy's lustrous looks and sex appeal don't compensate for the weakness of her performance.
Sean Campion is doomed as the sleazy college lecturer, a character who is so unpleasant that it's hard to see how he managed to bed so many of his students. Womanisers generally have charisma, Campion's character is charmless.
Fiona Glascott shines as Isolde, one of the lecturer's many victims, while'Riverdance's Jean Butler makes a reasonable fist of Renee, a woefully under-written American academic who finally falls for Campion's cringeworthy cad. Quite why this beautiful, sophisticated and intelligent woman goes for him is never quite explained, the film's brisk pace sacrificing the character development necessary for the romance to make sense.
As a product of the Film Board's new low budget initiative, expectations of 'Goldfish Memory's visual style were understandably low. But despite one ortwo bloopers, the technical aspects of this slight tale of single life are well-realised, with Ken Byrne's digital video photography surviving the challenging transfer to 35mm.
While it never strays far from focusing on its characters' sex lives, 'Goldfish Memory' is surprisingly coy when the action kicks off, despite the crowd-pleasing potential of same sex couplings between attractive cast members.
Too slight and unconvincing for drama, not funny enough for comedy, 'Goldfish Memory' falls between two stools. After a quick swim around my bowl, I had completely forgotten it.