This an Irish family drama which has been adapted from the second book in Roddy Doyle's Barrytown trilogy. The first book was made into the film The Commitments.
Sharon Curley is a 20-year-old checkout clerk in a supermarket who lives with her large North Dublin family. Their working-class neighborhood is abuzz with rumors when she gets pregnant and refuses to disclose the identity of the father.
At first, her parents don't know how to react to the news. Sharon's mother wants it made clear to her four youngsters that it's not right to get pregnant without being married. Sharon's father, Dessie, tries to stifle his anger by taking her out for a drink at the local pub.
When George, a middle-aged neighbor with a family, brags about having a one-night stand with Sharon, the news spreads quickly in the community. Dessie tries to defend his daughter's honor when she's accused of being a tart and a home-wrecker. Sharon then confesses that the man who made her pregnant was a Spanish sailor. No one really believes her.
Director Stephen Frears draws out an impressive and nuanced performance from Colm Meaney as Sharon's father. This hot-blooded fellow weathers a storm of emotions from anger to confusion to humiliation as he tries to respond to his daughter's plight.
The turning point in The Snapper comes when Sharon threatens to leave home. Dessie convinces her to stay, and then, surprisingly, takes an active interest in her pregnancy. He consoles her, reads up on the subject, and even volunteers to be there when the baby is born.
The closing third of this film goes straight to the heart with its depiction of the growing closeness between Sharon and Dessie. Many men want to be good fathers but don't have the patience or flexibility to deal with their children's changing needs. In this instance, Dessie is not only a loving dad, he's also Sharon's knight in shining armor.