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The third installment of Irish author Roddy Doyle's 'Barrytown Trilogy', following 'The Commitments' and 'The Snapper', depicts the hilarious yet poignant adventures of Bimbo. Upon being fired from his job at the bakery, Bimbo and his best mate go into business for themselves and purchase a chipper (a fish and chips van); but will the pressures of financial success sour their friendship forever? Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
This is the third story in Roddy Doyle's "Barrytown Trilogy", following the adventures of the Rabbitte family. However, as 20th Century Fox owned the film rights to the Rabbitte name (from The Commitments), the characters had to be re-named in the subsequent film adaptations (The Snapper, The Van). See more »
The movie is set during World Cup 1990, and on at least two occasions, the radio can be heard promoting 98FM. This station did not use this branding until the mid 1990s; it was called Classic Hits at the time. See more »
It's November 1989. Bimbo (Donal O'Kelly) is fired from the bakery. His best mate Larry (Colm Meaney) is struggling with only welfare for the coming Christmas. Bimbo is about to consider a MacDonald McJob when the guys are shown a food van. It's a piece of junk that doesn't even have an engine. Bimbo's wife buys the van and he invites Larry to join him selling fish and chips. Their chips van does smashingly as Ireland advances in the World Cup.
It's a steady decline from 'The Commitments' to 'The Snapper' and then to this. A more direct connection would have been better but I'm not an entertainment lawyer. It's still a fun watch. Donal O'Kelly doesn't have the screen presence. Colm Meaney is back and he overshadows everybody else. The trick is to make these poor losers lovable. Colm Meaney has that in spades. It would be better for them to get a steady young kid as their third. The relationship in the van is where this movie could have excel more. The guys' friendship could be more likable. I especially didn't like them picking up the ladies at the bar. Even their bickering could have been done with a lighter touch. Nevertheless it's still a fun ride.
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