"We all do stupid things when we're drunk, don't we?"
Mary Whipple | New England | 12/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Soon after a wild night at the pub, twenty-year-old Sharon Curley (Tina Kellegher) finds herself expecting a little "snapper" by a man she loathes. Her refusal to name the father sets in motion a family drama involving her three brothers, two sisters, and her parents, along with her employers and all her friends. Kellegher, playing the role as a coarse, earthy, yet remarkably sensible young woman (with the exception of her excessive drinking during her pregnancy) soon discovers who her friends really are, as some people tease and torment her, some make remarks to her siblings, some force her father to take direct action in her defense, and all spread gossip.
Des Curley (Colm Meaney), Sharon's father, shows the whole world in his face, his emotions ranging from outrage toward Sharon for embarrassing the family to tender concern as her time draws near. As the eight-member family trips all over each other emotionally (ironically symbolized in their battles for the one bathroom, often occupied by Sharon), the tensions within the family grow more intense. Widespread speculation about who the father is disrupts the neighborhood, with some hotheads visiting their own brand of justice on the Curleys. The arrival of the baby offers a chance at resolution.
Often very funny and equally often very touching, the film features actors who do not act like actors, appearing to be grounded in the very neighborhood they inhabit in the film. With the pub as social center, we see the characters' lifestyles and mores--their attitudes toward sex and childbirth, their "escapes" from the workday, their daily amusements and sense of humor, and their lack of concern with the dogma of the church.
The second in Roddy Doyle's The Barrytown Trilogy, after The Commitments, this film like The Van, which follows, features author Roddy Doyle writing his own screenplay, Stephen Frears as director, Oliver Stapleton as cinematographer, and actor Colm Meaney (playing the father Des, here) as the emotional bridge among the characters, appearing in all three films and giving a sense of continuity among them. Set in north Dublin in a lower working class neighborhood where many families spend their whole lives, the film shows the reliance on humor when life might otherwise be too tragic to handle. Mary Whipple
john thomas | 11/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the second book in Roddy Doyle's Dublin trilogy, The Snapper is a wickedly funny glimpse into the lives of a working class Irish family. The eldest daughter of a large family becomes pregnant and refuses to name the father. Not your traditional comic premise, but in this case it works beautifully. The characters are fully developed and presented in such a manner that you care deeply about them, and experience their pain as well as their joy. Veteran actor Colm Meaney (Star Trek DS9), who appears in the other two films that make up the trilogy (The Commitments and The Van), masterfully carries the story as the father of the unruly brood. He comes across as a good man who tries to do the right thing and loves his family, but is painfully human at every turn. The rest of the cast is mostly unknown but very believable and capable. I highly recommend this film (and the books, too). It may be the closest you ever get to Dublin without actually crossing the Atlantic."
A realistic view into an Irish home.
Sailoil | 03/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No other film has ever captured the zeitgeist of Irish life as well as the snapper. Roddy Doyle was teaching in a North Dublin working class school when he wrote this book. Much of the dialoge that you hear in the film is directly out of the mouths of his students.What you see in this film is as close as an outsider is ever likely to come to an understanding of working class Irish life. The unmarried daughter giving birth accounts for 1 in four of all children born today in Ireland. This is as real a situation as you can have. The language, the wit, the sarcasm and the lifestyle are all iminently recognised by Irish people as being true to daily life.The bonus of the Snapper is that you get a bellyaching laugh at the same time. There are few films as funny as this.Absolutely brilliant!"
Sometimes all you can do is laugh
contactdavy | Dublin, Ireland | 02/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm from Dublin myself and grew up around people from backgrounds similar to that featured in The Snapper. It should be noted that this film is set pre-Celtic tiger and more of Dublin was like this tahn is now, however with the wealth divide still evident, you'll find many places like this with characters in the same vein scattered around the city. I was compelled to write a review more in response to some of the negative reviews featured on the site, particularly those discussing Irish stereotypes. To allay your ire, this is what life is like for a lot of people in Ireland, it doesn't take away from the fact that you'll find some of the most gregarious and outgoing people and some of the best friends you'll meet in the drabbest and poorest of places, as you will in the best. In the broadest sense, Ireland went through a long period of self-imposed isolation which resulted in great poverty, what you see in the Snapper is the result of that. I'm actually surprised that any Americans would have enjoyed this (my ignorance perhaps) as the humour is specific and the subject matter concerned with honesty rather than political correctness, it's not sanitised in any sense, which contradicts my perception of what seems to be popular comedy in the United States. The fact is, when you're stuck in a rut that you were born into, and things can't seem to get much worse, you hold your head up and get on with it, and maybe have a laugh along the way."