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Shirley Valentine
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Reviews & Ratings for
Shirley Valentine More at IMDbPro »

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26 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Finding your own reality

10/10
Author: ace-150 from United States
13 April 2007

I just recommended this movie to a friend who's having her mid-life crisis. Just like Shirley, she can't stop taking care of other people at her own expense. Everyone who reviews this film focuses on its heart-warming qualities, making it sound like Pollyanna. The reality of Shirley Valentine is that it's very grounded in reality. Every moment of the film is fraught with ambiguity, moral and emotional. Shirley's trip to Greece and subsequent adventures are not Hallmark moments. She realizes quite clearly that her fantasies are superimposed on the necessities of reality. She doesn't marry a tycoon: she gets a waitress job. She realizes from the get-go that her relationship with Costas is a good-natured fraud. The ending of the movie doesn't answer any questions except "How does Shirley feel right at this moment in time?" This is not a film about escaping to a fantasy. It's about finding a reality that works for who you really are. Every human being on earth who's dissatisfied with their life should watch this film.

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27 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful Shirley speaks for us all...

10/10
Author: Enrique Sanchez from Miami, FL
25 March 2001

Pauline Collins is my hero. So is Shirley Valentine. They really are. I'm not kidding you. And I am man. This movie speaks to me, even so.

We all have dreams that have not been realized. We all need Shirley's courage to do as much as we can to live these dreams before we go off to the other place.

This movie taught me about life. It's not too late to be happy, to be in love, to smile every day and mean it. No matter what age you are.

Conti is charming and it is a shame we don't see him much anymore. He offers us a type of romantic hero we will never find in a Tom, Hanks or Cruise...too bad.

Joanna Lumley brings a special charm to her meeting with Shirley. Julia Mackenzie is especially good as her annoying friend.

Willy Russell cooked up a wonderful script from the wonderful play. Lewis Gilbert put it all together and worked hard to make us smile.

If you don't fall in love with this movie, you'll need a swift kick. Don't look at me. You'll have to give it to yourself. That's the magic and wonder of Shirley Valentine. She taught me how to kick myself into living!

Thank you, Shirley. Thank you, Pauline, Bill, Willy and Lewis.

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24 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Engaging and entertaining from start to finish

10/10
Author: aromatic-2 (aromatic@ivillage.com) from New York, NY
6 March 2001

I certainly had no trouble relating to Shirley Valentine. In fact, in a lot of this movie, I thought she was talking straight from my head. She sees the humour in all the humdrum b.s. of life, and comes out triumphant. Excellent job by director Lewis Gilbert in adapting one-woman show into a movie that did not feel the least bit claustrophobic. Highly imaginative. I've seen it 3 times now, and will watch again the next time it's on: 10/10.

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23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A thoughtful comment on a fabulous film

Author: Paul Immergluck from Surrey, England
1 December 2004

This is a sweet yet hilariously funny film about a housewife from the north of England, who takes a trip to Greece and finds that there is more to life than the kitchen sink.

It's one of those films that should be seen by anyone that has at any point felt that there's something missing in their life or that they've had missed opportunities as you will have great empathy with the main character Shirley. Having said that, it's generally just a great film. Not only does it do a very good job at putting one in Shirley's shoes but it's also a great social comment about an average English persons life.

Having said all this, it's one of the funniest films I have ever seen. The humor is ever present throughout the film yet never takes away from the seriousness of Shirley's situation. I found I was smiling to myself all the way through. I particularly liked the way that it pokes fun at the common Englisman's appreciation of foreign hospitality.

Each character brings great life to the film particularly Pauline Collins and Tom Conti. Pauline's regular off-the-cuff comments add character to the film while Tom's smarmy approach entwined with his overall role in the story (without wanting to spoil it) make for an excellent watch.

Great appearances by Julia McKenzie, Alison Steadman and Joanna Lumley add great depth to Pauline's character whilst adding great comedy and life to the film.

Shirley Valentine is a gem of a film and a must see. The style is certainly not "Hollywood" and it appeals to the same tastes as other English greats such as -The Full Monty-.

I give it a strong 10 out of 10.

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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

That's it! I am going to Greece next year:

9/10
Author: Galina from Virginia, USA
15 August 2005

It's been my dream since childhood, since I read for the first time the immortal ancient myths and legends; Greece where the sea is so blue that Aphrodite could be born only from its foam and the sun so gold that it makes the whole country glow with the eternal forever young smile, Greece that the Gods chose as their residence. I always wanted to go but the film "Shirley Valentine" (1989) directed by Lewis Gilbert and written by Willy Russell (also play) with Pauline Collins has added to my desire to see the magic country.

Pauline Collins reprises her Broadway's role as the hilariously charming and unpredictable 45 (or so) year old Liverpool housewife Shirley Valentine – Bradshaw whose life is the humorist Sam Levinson's lament: "When I was a kid, they told me to do what my parents wanted. When I became a parent, they told me to do what my kids wanted. When do I get to do what I want?" until one day she proves to herself that it is never too late to try to make your dream come true. When a friend wins the paid trip to Greece for two, Shirley joins her and finds that Greece is her dream because she always wanted to see the sunset over a blue sea. She says yes to the romance with a handsome Costas Caldes (Tom Conti) who likes her in spite her extra weight, saggy boobs and the stretch marks. She began to like herself, too. Sounds like your typical sloppy romantic comedy, ah? Wait until you see it. This is a wonderful and delightful film - clever, witty, funny, and thought-provoking. And to Roger Ebert goes my question "what is wrong with you, man?!"

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Getting older doesn't mean getting old

10/10
Author: Christian Moreau (cvmoreau) from Washington, DC
5 February 2003

I've often used this film to cheer me up when I feel down. As I pass through middle age myself, it reminds me that, with the right attitude toward life, the years alone need not make us feel old.

Shirley discovers what we all need to learn: if life ain't right, then fix it!

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The greatest journey leads us to ourselves

8/10
Author: Brigid O Sullivan (wisewebwoman) from Toronto, Canada
7 August 2000

Shirley had lost herself in the humdrum lifestyle of a housewife with kids grown and an indifferent husband stuck in his own boring routine. She strikes out on a vacation to Greece to get in touch with the girl she once was. The show worked better as a theatre piece - as a one woman show. Here it gets cluttered up with a lot of characters and Shirley's asides to the camera do not always work. Pauline Collins is as great in the role as she was on stage. Greek men seeing this must cringe at the Tom Conte caricature of a Greek lover. I rated it an 8 for Pauline's performance and the music.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The Classic Married Person's Midlife-Crisis Comedy

Author: scotorum from United States
5 October 2004

Every woman - and man for that matter - experiencing or approaching their 40s-50s midlife and/or who suspects they are living a stuck-in-a-rut lifestyle ought to be required to see this movie ASAP!! A rare gem that is simultaneously interesting, hilarious AND potentially life-changing! Plus a true feminist statement that is never obnoxious. I wonder how many marriages have been rescued by this film - although some may have been ended by it too. Beats the heck out of most books on the subject. Timeless.

"He needs to feel the sun on his skin and swim in water that is as deep as forever"

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

What a wonderful, beautiful movie!!

8/10
Author: twigs17 from United States
8 December 2005

For all of you middle-aged men and women who wonder just who you are, and where you're going; this is the movie for you!! What an insight to the real human spirit!! I've watched this several times and never fail to shed a tear over how I spent my life. This is a MUST DO for any adult struggling to make it. ( Bring a hankie) This is for men also!! The director has touched on the basic human emotion; who are we, why are we here, and most of all; what happened to "ME"? This movie has addressed so many questions that we all have, being caught up in the every day life, but always wondering-----"what if"? What a release for us to see that some times a person will follow their dreams! The message here is---Be true to yourself!!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Life

10/10
Author: markovicevo from Serbia and Montenegro
18 December 2006

For me, this movie Shirley Valentine is about changes! You CAN all ways make your self better person and develop. There are no age groups, or other obstacles but only ourselves. Like in movie Sostiene Pereira, when Pereira in his late 50 or 60 made tremendous change in his life, shocked by death of a young man. But he only made change when he will stop to live in the past. Also when Shirley meets her high school friend decides that she has to move one. Partners should push each other ahead, so as they are getting better, the relationship will be better. Like Shirley I am only sorry that I don't have copy of a movie. Carpe diem!

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