When unmarried 20-year-old Irish gal Sharon Curley (Kellegher) informs her parents that she’s pregnant, and even refuses to name the irresponsible seed man, the unexpected happens: the large, closely knit family takes it all in stride and tries to be supportive, especially her proud, big-hearted father Dessie (Meaney). But when the neighborhood gossips start wagging their tongues, it all gets too personal for her Dad, and Sharon begins to wonder if moving out isn’t the best thing for everyone.
Written by Roddy Doyle (“The Commitments”), who adapted the script from his own Tarrytown novel, Frears’s “Snapper” lets us cozy up with an eccentric bunch. Like any big family, the Curleys are constantly bickering at each other, but Frears quickly establishes just how tight everyone is, too — especially Dessie and Sharon, who talk turkey while sharing pints at the pub. “Snapper” zeroes in on the special nature of this father-daughter relationship, with Meaney in excellent form as a kindly, slightly overprotective dad, and Kellegher equally good at uproarious girl chatter, deep mortification, and even late-night anxiety. A lovely and bittersweet slice of Irish life.