6.8/10
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The Van (1996)

Set in the fictional Dublin suburb of Barrytown, Bimbo is a baker who loses his job after being made redundant. Bimbo then acquires the help of his best friend, Larry, to set up a successful burger van.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

Roddy Doyle (novel), Roddy Doyle (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colm Meaney ... Larry
Donal O'Kelly Donal O'Kelly ... Bimbo
Ger Ryan ... Maggie
Caroline Rothwell Caroline Rothwell ... Mary
Neilí Conroy Neilí Conroy ... Diane
Rúaidhrí Conroy ... Kevin
Brendan O'Carroll ... Weslie
Stuart Dunne Stuart Dunne ... Sam
Jack Lynch Jack Lynch ... Cancer
Laurie Morton Laurie Morton ... Maggie's Mum
Marie Mullen Marie Mullen ... Vera
Jon Kenny Jon Kenny ... Gerry McCarthy
Moses Rowen Moses Rowen ... Glenn
Linda McGovern Linda McGovern ... Jessica
Eoin Chaney Eoin Chaney ... Wayne
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They got soul in THE COMMITMENTS and a scandal in THE SNAPPER. Finally they're getting their act together and taking it on the road. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Ireland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La camioneta See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,366, 18 May 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$621,093, 17 August 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1990. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[Regarding the Christmas menu]
Larry: It's a fuckin' turkey or nothin'!
See more »

Connections

References Ghostbusters II (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Hippy Hippy Shake
Performed by The Swinging Blue Jeans (as Swinging Blue Jeans)
Licensed by EMI Records UK
By Arrangement with EMI Special Markets UK
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not even the best film about a snack van
3 September 2005 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

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.


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