Synopsis by Mark Deming
"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.
audition, band [music group], behind-the-scenes, blues-music, conquest, friendship, jam-session, music-club, self-discovery, songwriter, stars [celebrities]