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 ... See full summary »
Sammy and Rosie are an unconventional middle-class London married couple. They live in the midst of inner-city chaos, surround themselves with intellectual street people, and sleep with ... See full summary »
Set in Ireland, Sharon Curley is a 20 year old living with her parents and many brothers and sisters. When she gets herself pregnant and refuses to name the father, she becomes the talk of ... See full summary »
An intimate story of the enduring bond of friendship between two hard-living men, set against a sweeping backdrop: the American West, post-World War II, in its twilight. Pete and Big Boy ... See full summary »
This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while ... See full summary »
"Bull" McCabe's family has farmed a field for generations, sacrificing endlessly for the sake of the land. And when the widow who owns the field decides to sell the field in a public ... See full summary »
Fresh out of prison, Git rescues a former best friend (now living with Git's girlfriend) from a beating at the hands of loan sharks. He's now in trouble with the mob boss, Tom French, who ... See full summary »
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 »
Roddy Doyle's Barrytown trilogy was an affectionate, humorous but unsentimental look at life in the poor suburbs of Dublin; all three books have now been turned into films. 'The Commitments', directed by Alan Parker, was virtually a musical; in the original, Doyle hilariously peppered his text with fragments of the lyrics of the songs his protagonists (a soul band) were singing; in the film, the songs were played straight, and pretty much in their entirety, and some of the subtleties of the plot were also lost. Stephen Frears did better in making a low key film of book two, and is also at the directorial helm for this film of the final book. 'The Van' represented a slight change of direction for Doyle, a weighter piece of fiction than his earlier efforts; but it's still fun, and a sensitive portrait of male friendship. However, I don't like the film very much, even though it is quite faithful to the book in both content and tone; for in spite of this, it has lost the spark, and the vision, that the writing possessed, and appears coarse and clumsy in comparison. An Eric Clapton score is used insensitively, underscoring dialogue with unnecessary frequency; the acting (especially from Colm Meaney) renders the characters close to parody; the camera work is needlessly jumpy; while the plot is reduced to a series of set-piece encounters. This is supposedly a naturalistic movie, but never manages to convey the rhythms of ordinary life. While judged as against other films that tell tales of working class survival, it has not the political anger of the works of Ken Loach, the emotional impact of 'Brassed Off' or the jauntiness of 'The Full Monty'. Perhaps the most cruel cinematic comparison, however, brought to obvious attention by the prominent presence of a decrepit snack van, is with Mike Leigh's 'Life is Sweet', a film whose originality and desperate humour make a stark contrast with the dull clichéd Oirishisms on display here. Conclusion: read the book instead.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?