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Alan Parker's THE COMMITMENTS, based on Roddy Doyle's buoyant debut novel, follows the enjoyable travails of a band cobbled together by young Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins), whose vision is to bring soul music to Dublin. After putting an ad in the local paper, Jimmy assembles an unlikely group of musicians who, though nervous, raw, and rough, make music that speaks to something very near the heart of their audience of curious kids and sharp-tongued, sarcastic relatives. As the band nears its big break, egos clash and expectations of fame and fortune start to tear them apart, forcing Jimmy to fight desperately to keep them together.
THE COMMITMENTS bubbles over with life, largely on the strength of the young, mostly unknown cast. Andrew Strong shines in the role of the lead singer exuding a volatile and irresistible charisma as he transforms rapidly from an unsure adolescent into an egotistical spotlight hogger. Colm Meaney contributes a hilarious cameo as Jimmy's father (a role that would expand in two later film adaptations of Doyle novels, THE SNAPPER and THE VAN). Pumped along by killer 1960s soul tunes and crackling throughout with quick-witted dialogue, THE COMMITMENTS is an effervescent, affecting tour through working-class Dublin.