Film Review: The Snapper

Review by Kelly Dolejsi

Pregnant women get asked many questions as they await their babies: When are you due? Is it a boy or a girl? Have you picked out a name? Have you written a birth plan?

Or even, sometimes: Who’s the father?

In “The Snapper,” a sort of a 1993 Irish precursor to the 2007 American megahit “Knocked Up” in that both comedies star a fetus that does not result from sacred marital love but rather from booze, 20-year-old Sharon Curley (Tina Kellegher) does not want to answer that last question.

Her co-workers, friends, parents  — everyone has their outspoken, sometimes painfully rude suspicions about the paternal progenitor of Curley’s “snapper.” Yet ultimately, the baby has enough family without him.

I liked this film very much. I missed a lot of the dialogue and undoubtedly some of the jokes because of the accents, but the characters and their story came through clearly. Curley is real, complex and strong — a role American actresses would die for. Her relationship with her father, played by Star Trek’s Colm Meaney, is so much more interesting than any romantic love story would have been.

Most remarkable to me were the cultural differences between working class Ireland in the early 1990s and present-day Los Alamos, where I was recently pregnant. It made me squeamish, for instance, watching Curley get snockered at 16 weeks along. Yet it was pretty beautiful how genuinely her parents wanted her and her baby to live with them, despite the many younger children they were still raising at home.

“The Snapper” (rated R), written by novelist Roddy Doyle and directed by Stephen Frears, screened on Thursday, April 5th in Mesa Public Library’s upstairs theater. The Free Film Series, which currently highlights foreign gems, is made possible by Friends of Mesa Public Library.

For more information, call the library at 662-8240.

Editor’s Note: The next film in the foreign series will be on May 3rd at 6:30 p.m. The film is Chungking Express.

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