The Commitments (1991)
Movie Info"The Irish are the blacks of Europe, Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland, and the North Siders are the blacks of Dublin ... so say it loud -- I'm black and I'm proud!" Or so Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) tells his slightly puzzled friends as he tries to assemble a rhythm & blues show band in a working class community in Dublin in Alan Parker's film The Commitments. Jimmy is a would-be music business wheeler and dealer, and he's decided what Dublin needs is a top-shelf soul band. However, top-shelf soul musicians are hard to find in Dublin, so he has to make do with what he can find. However, after a long round of auditions, Jimmy makes two inspired discoveries: Deco (Andrew Strong), an abrasive and alcoholic streetcar conductor who nevertheless has a voice like the risen ghost of Otis Redding, and Joey "The Lips" Fagan (Johnny Murphy), a horn player who knows soul music backwards and forwards and claims to have played with everyone from Wilson Pickett to Elvis Presley. Before long, the band -- called the Commitments -- is packing them in at local clubs. But do they have what it takes to make the big time? Based on the novel by Roddy Doyle, who also co-wrote the screenplay, The Commitments is sparked by fine performances by its young cast and enthusiastic performances of a number of '60s soul classics; the cast, who play their own instruments, reassembled the band for a concert tour after the film became a hit. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for The Commitments
The film offers no message, no solutions, only a great time at the movies.
Director Alan Parker's story of a band of young Dubliners playing American '60s soul is fresh, well-executed and original.
This is probably Alan Parker's best film, in part because it's one of his most modest.
Foul-mouthed, fast-talking and very funny, this is Parker's best to date.
Mr. Parker is capable of whipping a series of quick, well-edited snippets into a happy collage of musical high spirits.
Parker keeps going for the glitz. He may have shot The Commitments in Ireland, but his soul never left Hollywood.
It's a relaxed, colorful creation, remaining true to rascally human behaviors while respecting the unifying power of music. Downright irresistible.
Does a remarkable job of balancing a feel of lower-class life with the sheer exuberance the music brings.
This typically slick but largely enjoyable Alan Parker offering is the story of the rise and demise of a young Irish soul band.
Sharply written and executed with real verve, this is an enduring and enjoyable comedy-drama that showcases some great performances both on and off-stage.
Based on Doyle's first novel, Alan Parker's movie offers a fresh, captivating portrait of a new band whose goal is to bring 1960s soul music to working-class Dublin.
Has the raw power of a documentary and a driving musical soundtrack.
Groundwork for The Full Monty school of condescending films about noble blue-collar western Europeans who like their beer dark and their unemployment light.
If it's light on meaning, it's strong at presenting the visceral pleasures of music, which can be extremely difficult to do
Alan Parker -- stick to music-related projects! You're great at them!
A surprisingly blissful combo of Brit humor and Soul music.
A full-steam-ahead cinematic triumph propelled by the raw energy of a talented cast and the vibrancy of a dozen soul classics.
Although parts of the story are dramatic, overall it is an ironic comedy, and a very funny one at that, as the band manager tries to keep this group of conflicting personalities from flying apart.
Brash and joyous, the kind of musical we need more of.
Audience Reviews for The Commitments
"We skipped the light fandango turned cartwheels 'cross the floor. I was feeling kinda seasick but the crowd called out for more" I'm still in awe by how clever was the use of that enigmatic line, it not only comes from one of my favourite songs, but works as a dignified compendium of a short-lived but magical trainwreck that the characters, and the public, can only watch passing by with a smile.
Quotable dialogue, riotous moments and genuine musical passion throughout. A gem once voted, deservedly, as the best irish film of all time.
A story documenting the rise and fall of the band The Commitments. With enjoyable vocals and those well known songs, this film makes for an easy watching tongue in cheek piece.
In a seperate issue, I can't help thinking this discredits the film ONCE ever so slightly I had thought their performances were really good, I hadn't known Glen Hansard had already appeared in this film.
In the tradition of Waking Ned Devine and The Full Monty, this is a delightful, optimistic ensemble piece from across the pond. While there are few conflicts in between the characters, the main conflict that drives the film forward is understated - people wanting to succeed in an world that doesn't assent.
There is little in the way of comedy, "littler" in the way of drama, and too many musical sequences for my taste, but it's hard to fault the movie for any of these things. Suffice to say that I mildly enjoyed the experience of watching this film, and there's little to complain about.
The Commitments Quotes
- Failed Drug Buyer:
- I saw the queue down the street, I thought you was selling drugs...
- Jimmy Rabbitte:
- The Irish are the blacks of Europe, Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland, and the North Siders are the blacks of Dublin ... so say it loud -- I'm black and I'm proud!
- Jimmy Rabbitte:
- He says God sent him
- Mr. Rabbitte:
- On a fucking Suzuki?
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