The Commitments kicked off the extraordinary career of Ireland’s no.1 comedy writer RODDY DOYLE.
His independently published novel about a ‘black’ soul group in Dublin – set in a fictional northside Dublin suburb Barrytown – was a huge success and the subsequent film was directed by Oscar winner Alan Parker. Later it spawned live musicals and tours plus boosted the career of a wide group of young actors and musicians.
This grintage feature celebrates Roddy’s great achievement and – whilst not ignoring his stellar literary output – puts the spotlight on his natural aptitude for comedy – as he consistently nailed those killer Dublin centric comedy lines and visual pay offs usually focused on the comings and goings of The Rabbitte family. The Commitments was the 1st book of the so called Barrytown trilogy. The Snapper & The Van followed and also made into films all starring one of Ireland’s finest screen actors Colm Meaney (Star Trek etc).
Before you watch video clips of those two movies, here are the best bits of the film that launched the most prolific and most successful comedy writer in Ireland today.
The Snapper was the 2nd film in the Barrytown Trilogy – and with the main theme The Rabbittes accepting and embracing a ‘bastard’ child into their family for some it was his warmest script family wise and also the funniest
We couldn’t move on without including this classic scene ….
… last but no means least … The Van – filmed in and around Ireland’s World Cup soccer success in Italia ’90 and intruducing screen novice Brendan O’Carroll
As a comedy screen writer Roddy has no equal in Ireland.
‘When Brendan met Trudy‘ is a film directed by first time director and uber talented Kieron J Walsh (later a director and producer for The Savage Eye (2009) and Jump (2012) and also written by Roddy Doyle. The story is about a Dublin schoolteacher (fyi Roddy was himself a teacher until his writing commitments took over) who falls in love with a mysterious young woman who turns out to be a thief. It remains one of Ireland’s best comedy movies.
And from the big screen to the 2nd screen! Let’s not forget in recent years Roddy Doyle’s Facebook page has gotten a lot of attention. His posts about the recent gay marriage referendum and his tribute to the late TV sports broadcaster Bill O’ Herlihy seen through the eyes of ‘2 men chatting in a pub’ over a pint of Guinness received a lot of praise, gaining over 45 thousand likes each.
Socially and politically pro active when required, Roddy Doyle has also been outspoken on racism in Ireland. The success and influence of the charity Fighting Words owes a lot to his editorial time and patronage.
Most of all though Roddy has shone the light a new modern Irish comedy literature and screen writing. For that he is both a bleedin’ national treasure and a ledge. Why isn’t he offered the first ever Comedy Screenwriting Chair in one of Dublin’s 3rd level media courses and seriously tackle the future of Irish screen comedy. Makes sense – Roddy is a teacher by trade!
We also would love to know whatever happened The Committments?