The Irish love an audience. Two Irishmen in a pub might be silent, but put a stranger in the room, and they talk, almost performing. That Irish trait - loving to talk, and of not minding if someone overhears - is at the heart of a very funny comedy, "The Snapper," about people packed into small houses on a small street in a small, tight Irish community.
Sharon Curley (Kellegher), the eldest daughter of eight children, is pregnant, and tells her parents, Dessie (Meaney) and Kay (McCabe), who don't take it well, but love her, and stand by her. Her father shouts, then grows philosophical, inviting Sharon to the corner pub. No telephone could spread word as quickly as gossip does here. But Sharon won't identify the father; later, his own gossip does. Sharon's not ashamed or protective, but hates it that both of them were drunk, that their affair casts little credit on anyone, and that he's not the sort she likes. All revelations have to be talked over: Sharon meets her girlfriends at the pub for giggles, put-downs, and fantasies about men; her dad meets pals in another room of the pub, issuing dire warnings for the unknown father, not realizing that he's talking to him.
Frears directed "The Snapper" with warmth; his "My Beautiful Laundrette" and "Sammy and Rosie Get Laid" show similar warmth for close-knit London communities. The Irish feeling here is distinctive, in Doyle's second story about this group of people (the first was "The Commitments"). What Doyle sees and what his films reflect is that the Irish leaven gossip with forgiveness; they understand human beings.
Roddy Doyle based on his novel
Tina Kellegher, Colm Meaney, Ruth McCabe
unwed Irish pregnancy, Irish slang,
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