White Irish Drinkers – A Film Review

I’m rarely speechless, but my spouse asked me why I was watching a film called “White Irish Drinkers” when I’m black Irish. I had nothing. After viewing it, I can say that it’s a nice film. It’s sort of a post coming-of-age film. It takes place in the mid-70s Brooklyn.  Two brothers came of age and nothing really happened, so one gets in trouble, the other, more sensitive brother, pursues his art, falls in love and works in a theater in which the owner has booked the Rolling Stones. I don’t want to spoil the ending because it has a nice twist.  It was also nicely acted with a cast that included Karen Allen and Peter Regiert. I’m not sure if they’d done anything together since Animal House, but I always enjoy watching actors who have been in together in one film, turn around and work together with very different characters.

I realize I’ve used the term “nice” a lot in this review. I’m having trouble coming up with any other term, and I don’t think it’s a “speechless” problem. One thing that troubles me is that the protagonist and his family, particularly the parents are stereotypical of how Irish-American families are portrayed in film. The father had a drinking problem and beat one brother. The mother is religious. My father was Irish and while he enjoyed a drink and had a family that occasionally disappointed him, never raised a hand in anger towards us. I also wish there had been more scenes with the White Irish Drinker – the sensitive brother’s friends from high school who went in different directions, yet remained friends.

Even so, I recommend this film, primarily for the nice (sorry) twist at the end.


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