“Soul is the music people understand.”
With movies about bands coming together from nothing it usually ends with the band overcoming a whole bunch of obstacles and becoming wildly successful. The Commitments is happily not that kind of movie.
Jimmy Rabbitte is a young Irish man living in working class area of Ireland in the 1990s. He is charming and everyone around him likes and believes in him. Jimmy goes to a wedding where a few of his friends are. Two of them are in the wedding band which is terrible. Jimmy convinces his friends, one who plays the guitar the other plays the bass, to leave their crappy gig to start their own band. Jimmy will act as manager for the band. He puts an ad in the paper for people who like soul music and they are all terrible except for this old guy named Joey who plays the trumpet. Jimmy pieces the rest of the band together with people that he knows and grew up with. Jimmy’s goal with the band is to bring soul to the working class of Ireland. The Commitments, as the band is christened, will be a soul group covering the great soul songs.
Being young hot headed Irish people, there is tension in the band right from the first practice. For a while they are able to work out their differences and then of course it becomes more difficult. The band plays what could have been the most important gig of their career at a club in Dublin. It was one of only a few gigs they played but they were starting to get noticed. The owner of a small label came to the club to offer Jimmy a deal to record for a day. The Commitments never make it past the gig. Tensions came to a boiling point and everyone quit.
My dad bought The Commitments on DVD years ago. I cannot remember why he bought I do not even know if ever saw it before he bought. I do remember watching it and being a bit bored. Well, for me I was watching it to see the members of my all time favorite band The Corrs in various scenes. (If you tell me you do not know who The Corrs are I will tell you that you do. Go listen to their song “Breathless”). They had originally auditioned to be part of the band but they got little scenes here and there. Andrea Corr played Jimmy’s sister and the other siblings got very small background parts. Now, a few years later, I have watched it as just another movie and this time I really liked it. I liked the ending so much because it was not typical. They all freaking hated each other! The ending makes you feel bad because they sounded really good together and you want to see them blow up and become famous. The lead singer is insane and he was only sixteen at the time! I have to throw out there that I had no idea that Maria Doyle-Kennedy was in the movie and I yelled out “holy shit Mrs. S!” It was cool to see her in another outside of Orphan Black. The Commitments is a really good movie. All the characters are hilarious, the story is great, and the music is fantastic.