“Love in Kilnerry” takes a high-concept swing at the romantic comedy, and the result is a somewhat-uneven, but mostly-charming little movie that is full of laughs and pluck.

Writer/director/star Daniel Keith plays Gary O’Reilly, the sheriff of a sleepy little New England town filled with predominately elderly residents.

Things are shaken up quite a bit when the Environmental Protection Agency tells the locals that changes designed at cleaning up the local chemical plant created an unintended by-product in the town’s drinking water that results in an increased libido.

The residents of Kilnerry are horrified at the prospect of overcharged sex drives being set loose upon their town; but amidst the mild chaos that ensues, love and romance win the day.

The heart of this movie is the cast of characters, like Gary’s father Fergal (Roger Hendricks Simon), the town postman who gets some of the best lines in the film. There’s the town mayor Jerry (Tony Triano) who owns the local pub and has a bitter rivalry with the town priest, Father Wesley (James Patrick Nelson).

There are also enjoyable appearances by the town gossip Brigid (Sheila Stasack), the town pearl-clutcher Aednat (Sybil Lines) and EPA spokesman Rakesh (Debargo Sanyal).

There’s also a great turn by Kathy Searle as Nessa, a quirky, shop owner with no filter and a healthy crush on sheriff Gary.

While the supporting cast shines, the biggest problem with “Love in Kilnerry” lies with its main character. Throughout the movie Gary shifts back and forth from the slightly-befuddled voice-of-reason in a town full of loonies (a la Sherriff Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show”) to misunderstood outcast to overbearing, short-tempered morality enforcer.

The movie itself struggles at times as it tries to find a consistent tone between moments of screwball comedy and heartfelt drama.

While “Love in Kilnerry” has problems aplenty, its genuine laughs and oddball characters help it land ever-so-slightly on the positive side of the ledger.

“Love in Kilnerry” is not rated but features some sexuality and brief nudity.  

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