The Van (1996)

Imdb Ranking 6.8

Bimbo was just let let go from from his job at the bakery. After a few beers Bimbo and his friends are toasting to unemployment but Bimbo has a wife and three kids. Bimbo goes golfing with his best friend Larry (Colm Meaney) who is also unemployed and married with kids.

Both households are hurting for money. At Larry's house they can't even get a turkey for Christmas and they are almost cutting out presents. Bimbo gers the idea that maybe he would like to get a fish and chip van, and one of his friends finds an old broken down one. They push the van home because there is no engine and it seems like the whole town follows them.

Bimbo asks Larry to be his partner, and Larry agrees. Washing, painting ... they slowly get the van in to shape. They try different recipes as they try to get the best chips. When the van is ready they pull it behind their car. They park it near a bar which is showing the 1990 World Cup live and then go in to watch the game. Ireland makes a goal and ties up England 1 - 1 and the game ends in a tie. The Irish goal was scored by Kevin Sheedy.

After the game they hooked up the van to the car's battery and opened for business. As the bar emptied out they got very busy. The Ireland drew with Holland and Egypt and qualified for the next round. Business got so good they ran out of food.

Now it's Ireland against Romania. It comes down to penalty kicks. Packie Bonner made the save on the last Romanian kiccker and in one of the best moments in Irish soccer David O’Leary made his shot as the Republic of Ireland progressed to the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup Finals.

In the next game Ireland got beat by Italy 1 - 0 and it was over. Next they went about putting an engine in the van. It's off to the beach to try to get some customers there. Things go pretty good except they did batter up a diaper and serve it to a man.

When Larry;s daughter, who has been helping them, gets a boyfriend, he gets his son to join on, but he doesn't cook meat because he became a vegetarian last week. Bimbo doesn't think it's fair that Larry has picked both of their helpers.

The boys are working hard and decide to go out for a night on the town. They go to a fancy place and Larry gets charged 27 pounds for a bottle of wine to impress a couple of girls.

When Bimbo gives Larry wages, instead of splitting the profits, Larry blames Bimbo's wife. But Bimbo wants to establish that it is his business. Larry starts taking breaks, saying he's entitled to a ten minute break for every two hours that he works.

A health inspector comes and shuts them down. The floors are filthy, the walls are filthy, the food isn't covered well and they are personally unclean. He gives him a week to get the van in shape.

It all comes out as the boys start to fight. Larry is not happy that Bimbo thinks he is the boss and Bimbo is not happy that Larry doesn't think he is the boss. They actually start fighting, both get hurt, and then go off for a pint. Bimbo offers to go back to fifty-fifty with Larry, but Larry refuses. Bimbo then says he is going to kill the van. Off they go in the van, and then off int to the ocean. The van is dead.

A different kind of movie with comedic moments, but the overall tone of the movie is kind of depressing. The boys are out of work and things aren't going really well.

This was the third installment of Irish author Roddy Doyle's 'Barrytown Trilogy', following 'The Commitments' and 'The Snapper'. Very well done.