The Van

  • Film
  • Comedy
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In the winter of '89, Bimbo (O'Kelly), a baker from Dublin's Barrytown, is made redundant, but the last thing he wants is to loaf all day in a pub like his jobless mates. The mobile chip-and-burger business beckons. By the spring he and Larry (Meaney) have gone into partnership, buying a filthy run-down van in the hope of cashing in on the euphoria igniting Ireland during the 1990 World Cup. It's tough work, but both men's families chip in. Indeed, Larry's so keen to keep his own brood in work that Bimbo sometimes feels the need to remind him who's boss. The final film adaptation of Roddy Doyle's Barrytown trilogy is a jauntily enjoyable comedy about unemployment. Occasionally the direction is too determinedly feel-good, but as the film proceeds and the men's partnership becomes increasingly strained, the jokes are underpinned by something more substantial: it gradually becomes clear that Larry's larky ways are partly symptomatic of irresponsibility, partly a defence against despondency; and that friendship depends on some sort of equality. Fun, on the whole.

Release details

Duration: 100 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stephen Frears
Screenwriter: Roddy Doyle
Cast: Colm Meaney
Donal O'Kelly
Ger Ryan
Caroline Rothwell
Neili Conroy
Ruaidhri Conroy
Jack Lynch
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