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THE VAN

"Driven to Success"

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What You Need To Know:

In a little fictional suburb of North Dublin in 1989, the working class takes a beating with corporate downsizing in THE VAN. Bimbo and his best friend Larry, are unemployed. Their lives turn around when they stumble upon a greasy, old, beat-up truck. Bimbo spends his severance pay cleaning it up and equipping it as a fast-food truck. Larry, the less enthusiastic of the two, joins in because he has nothing better to do. The two quickly become successful. Although the business takes off, the two friends experience tension. Their blow-up is inevitable as Bimbo becomes frustrated with Larry’s self-absorbed and uncooperative ways. Things eventually come to a head when the truck is declared hygienically unfit by a Health Inspector, who tells the men to clean up or close up.

The characters in THE VAN are extremely likable, even though foul words frequently leave their lips. They sing, argue, encourage, and cross swords with fervor and passion. The two men’s wives demonstrate integrity when they stand solidly behind their men, even when both are down and out. The wives consistently encourage and support their husbands and stand true to the marital promise of “for richer or poorer.” Unfortunately, an unceasing flow of vulgar and obscene language overshadows what would have been a family-affirming film.

Content:

(Pa, B, LLL, V, N, A, D, M) Pagan worldview with strong moral worldview of the family; 94 obscenities, 38 profanities & 17 vulgarities; mild action violence with brief fist fight; mild sexual content with two married men flirting with two women, a young girl kisses her boyfriend on the sofa, a couple make out in a car, & man puts his head under a woman’s skirt; naturalistic rear male nudity; drinking & drunkenness leading to vomiting; cigarette-smoking; miscellaneous immorality involving a young girl having a child out of wedlock & profuse swearing and cursing in front of children

More Detail:

In a little fictional suburb of North Dublin in 1989, the working class takes a beating because of corporate downsizing. Bimbo (Donal O’Kelly) is in tears because he just lost his job, joining many others like him in the pub, where the beer flows as freely as the talk. Bimbo’s best, friend Larry (Colm Meaney), long since unemployed himself, tries to console Bimbo and show him the ropes of how to spend his days. They try golf, watch TV, but time still moves too slowly for Bimbo, who is new to this waiting game.

Their lives turn around when they stumble upon an old, greasy, beat-up truck with an unpredictable engine. Bimbo spends his severance pay cleaning it up and equipping it as a take-away fast-food truck as a new means of earning a living. Larry, the less enthusiastic of the two, joins in because he has nothing better to do.

Bimbo’s burgers take off successfully, as he first feeds the swarming fans when they celebrate Ireland’s football victory, then goes to the crowds at the beaches, rock concerts and other events. Although the business takes off, the two friends experience tension. When Larry’s wife scores extremely high on a test, he feels demoralized. He takes it out on Bimbo, demanding union hours at work and hiring his children as chefs without talking to Bimbo about it. Their blow-up is inevitable as Bimbo becomes frustrated with Larry’s self-absorbed and uncooperative attitude. Things come to a head when the truck is declared hygienically unfit by a Health Inspector who tells the men to clean up or close up.

THE VAN lustfully portrays the Irish working class, both drunk or sober. They sing, argue, encourage, and cross swords, always with fervor and passion. These are not people who practice the stiff upper lip, and director Stephen Frears lets it all hang out in an appealing and entertaining fashion. The characters are extremely likable, even if foul words frequently leave their lips. Bimbo and Larry represent a life that is alive within its confined parameters. The two men’s wives demonstrate integrity when they stand solidly behind their men, even when both are down and out with no income and unemployed. The wives consistently encourage and support their husbands and stand true to the marital promise of “for richer or poorer.” Even when both men decide to have a night out on the town and run into two available women at a bar, Bimbo manages to put a stop to the flirting without letting it turn into adultery.

The film speaks well of the friendship of the two men, though their relationship takes its knocks. Their friendship is enviable and provides the film with one of its more positive aspects. Unfortunately, an unceasing flow of vulgar and obscene language overshadows what otherwise would have been a family-affirmative film. There are elements of drinking and drunkenness, but a pint or two of ale a day is so integrated into the lives of these people that it becomes a way of life. THE VAN has amusing perspectives on the frustrations of the working class, but watch out for gross language.


Watch THE VAN
Quality: - Content: -2
Watch THE VAN
Quality: - Content: -2