RUFFLED DUCKLING

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS IS A SWEET COMING-OF-AGE COMEDY

Repression, as everyone knows, makes for bad sex. But it does wonders for romance, obliging the yearning heart to make wondrous imaginative leaps mostly unduplicatable when you're tangled in the reality of rumpled sheets. It follows, therefore, that Ireland in the 1950s, a place where condoms were illegal and priests braying the glories of continence were everywhere, was probably the world capital of romance.

The confusions it could impose on you if you were young, fresh from an upcountry village and suddenly exposed to the subversive stimulations of Trinity College, Dublin, are the subject of the ingratiating, clearheaded, coming-of-age comedy that...

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