You’d think living in Ireland would be fabulous what with delicious beer, out of control youths and closed DeLorean factories … you know, the things
that usually make a country great. But, damn, they make dismal and boring movies.
“The Van” is the third (and final, thank freakin’ God) in the series of “Barrytown” films. “The Commitments” were first to take place in this fictional backwater, followed by “The Snapper”. To finally end this trilogy “The Van” follows the story of two out of work best friends surviving on government hand-outs. Bimbo (played by Donal O’Kelly) the go getter of the twosome, loses his job and uses his severance pay to buy a “Chipper” meal van (what we call a Roach Coach in the good old US of A). He asks his mate Larry (Colm Meany) to help out as a partner. Like you’d expect, the van’s a disaster … so they put in some good old Irish labor, clean it up and start selling bagloads of greasy cod and chips. That they are a success is no surprise since everything takes place during the 1990 World’s Cup. Hell, they could have made money selling pita pockets stuffed with mouse heads.
Tired of the grease, the cod, and the fact that he isn’t thought of as a real partner by Bimbo, Larry, the more stereotypical Irishman of the duo, gets drunk, gets pissed, and gets loud. Sounds interesting? It’s not.
They end up fist fighting and getting fall down drunk from a little too much of the old Guinness. This seems to iron things out for a while, in a particularly Irish sort-of-way in that neither is still very happy – but hey, they’re mates. They fight, watch football, and get drunk. Then they get drunk. Then they fight, and go get drunk. Then they try to cheat on their wives. Then they get drunk and fight. Then they fight, and get drunk.
And sure, seeing these drunken Irish guys fist fight is great but my big question is this: Why pay to see this, when you could just go to Kelly’s Pub down the street and see the damn same thing? Sure, this hides behind some
“friendship is the most important thing in the world” smoke screen but, if you didn’t get so drunk and beat each other up so damn often you wouldn’t need to think about it so much. Skip the movie, grab a box of Lucky Charms and drink a pint.