Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
Leave it to Helen Mirren to still be getting her kit off at her age. Glad some filmmaker put it to good use.
Hi, Harry. I haven't noticed a whole lotta posts about this movie. It's coming out 12/19, I believe. Cinema Seattle sponsors free screenings every now and again, and this was one of them, just a couple days ago. Anyway, hope you find use for it.
CALENDAR GIRLS is based on real events, but might as well be farce. It's charming enough, hits a lot of the right notes, but it is awfully inconsequential business. Helen Mirren and Julie Walters are fabulous, though, as best friends Chris and Annie who have gotten bored to the point of cracking jokes amongst themselves just to keep interested during town meetings of the Knapely Womens' Institute. Each month, the meetings feature a new theme: history of milk marketing, broccoli, etc.
Shortly after Annie loses her husband to leukemia, and then Chris somehow comes up with the notion of putting together a semi-nude calendar with herself, Annie and several other townswomen as a fundraiser for the local hospital. Annie's huband wrote a poem with the line, "The last stage of the flower is the most glorious," which relates in some way, shape or form to doing the calendar (nude older women.. last stage of the flower is glorious... disease... mkay). But, I think it's more an excuse simply to break out of the doldrums of conservative living, and cause a stir. The loftier goal - when all's said and done - would up being to contribute to the fight against leukemia. Maybe it's both things. I wish the film more upfront about its message.
But, alas, we have to have a few mixed intentions for the comedy to work. And so, Chris has some odd fascination with the female anatomy that is neither dealt with fully or dismissed (why such an interest in boobs for this woman?). She finds a dirty magazine under her son's bed, leafs through it, has a chuckle. And then, bam -- nude calendar time. She comes off a wee bit like she is doing everything for personal gain, at first, and not necessarily in honor of a deceasd friend's memory. Her son is embarrassed, of course, and ridiculed at school. There's a subplot involving drug usage that's introduced almost entirely for a single laugh toward the end that reminded me of that scene with Matt Craven in A FEW GOOD MEN.
You just know, by the end, friendships will have been tested, a marriage or two put in jeopardy, so on. Unpredictable CALENDAR GIRLS is not. And, would all the stuff with the press attention and the television spots and even a trip to Hollywood really be warranted by seeing these Golden Girls with their ta-ta's on display? Somehow I think probably not.
Still, a decent movie. Occasionally funny. Just doesn't add up to much. Ashley Rowe's cinematography gorgeously captures the landscape of this lush English countryside. Always a pleasure to look at, this film. And, I must say, the brief glimpse we get of Helen Mirren's quite supple attributes... is nice.