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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


The Van
Directed by Stephen Frears
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 05/97 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - strong language

The Van is the third and last in a series of Irish films based on books by Roddy Doyle (The Commitments, The Snapper). Colm Meaney returns as Larry, a foul-mouthed and idiosyncratic family man who's been on welfare for quite some time. His wife (Caroline Rothwell) works and also is going to school.

When Bimbo (Donal O'Kelly) loses his job in a bakery which he's had for 25 years, Larry is there to lift his spirits and keep him occupied on the golf course and at the local pub. But before the two get too relaxed in unemployment, Bimbo seizes the day by purchasing and refurbishing a decrepit old van. Soon they are partners — selling fish, chips, and hamburgers at local sporting events. The only problem is that they just can't get along as business associates. Bimbo's too laid back and then gets offended when Larry runs roughshod over him.

Director Stephen Frears does a fine job in accentuating the humorous side of their entrepreneurial efforts. In the end, Bimbo and Larry come to agree with Socrates who said, "There is no possession more valuable than a good and faithful friend." The surprising finale of The Van shows what some people will sacrifice to keep this special relationship alive.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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