Starring: Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Linda Bassett, Annette
Crosbie, Celia Inrie, Geraldine James, Penelope Wilton and Ciaran
Directed by: Nigel Cole
Girls is a mature comedy that proves one doesn't have to grow
old without a bit of roaring fun along the way.
Chris (Helen Mirren) and Annie (Julie Walters)
have been friends for eons. They grew up together and now, in
their fifties, reside peacefully in a northern English town.
Annie's husband becomes very ill the two try to comfort each other,
idling away hours desperate for better news at their local hospital.
They notice the waiting room doesn't lend itself to assisting
in even the modest comforts one should receive during such a trying
a salute to Annie's husband the two decide to raise money to buy
a proper couch for the hospital's waiting room. They belong to
rather dull cakes, pies and jam sort of women's club called, The
Women's Institute (the WI). They call upon their "sisters"
at the WI to assist. They will produce a charity calendar, as
the group does every year. But this year there'll be a difference.
The calendar wont be mountain brooks and fauna, it will be these
very proper Yorkshire women naked and performing daily tasks and
crafts; their naughty bits strategically covered by objects in
a most artful way.
woman decides to join in the calendar for her own liberating reasons
- besides baring it all for a good cause that is
when the unconventional calendar starts to circulate it immediately
unsettles the small town this troupe dwell within. But, it also
captures the imagination of the international press. In fact the
gals are even invited stateside to meet with Jay Leno and the
en route to success Chris and Annie's friendship will be tested
and their resolves stretched.
a bit of melodrama that seems almost plopped in around this area
- but then it picks up again. Calendar Girls is a friendly
fun beautifully shot film. What works about the film is the performances
and the genuine warmth the group of women have for one another,
and of course "Chris" and "Julie's" bonds
make even the hardest hearted of us just weep.
a joy to see Helen Mirren frolicking on the screen delivering
a unique role for the usually serious thespian. She's usually
stern browed and sourpussed judging those around her or conniving
beneath her breath. Not here. Her "Chris" is full of
life and down to Earth goodness.
speaking? Helen Mirren steals the show, of course, but the whole
cast delivers solidly. It can be a tad slow and gosh-golly at
times, but over all Calendar Girl's genuine heart shines
Snack recommendation: Bottles and bottles of wine and a