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Life Is Sweet (1990)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  December 1991 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,526 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 28 user | 38 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

Just north of London live Wendy, Andy, and their twenty-something twins, Natalie and Nicola. Wendy clerks in a shop, leads aerobics at a primary school, jokes like a vaudevillian, agrees to... See full summary »

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Title: Life Is Sweet (1990)

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9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Wendy
...
Andy
...
Natalie
...
Nicola
...
Patsy
...
Aubrey
...
Nicola's Lover
Moya Brady ...
Paula
David Neilson ...
Steve
...
Customer
Paul Trussel ...
Chef
Jack Thorpe-Baker ...
Nigel
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Storyline

Just north of London live Wendy, Andy, and their twenty-something twins, Natalie and Nicola. Wendy clerks in a shop, leads aerobics at a primary school, jokes like a vaudevillian, agrees to waitress at a friend's new restaurant and dotes on Andy, a cook who forever puts off home remodeling projects, and with a drunken friend, buys a broken down lunch wagon. Natalie, with short neat hair and a snappy, droll manner, is a plumber; she has a holiday planned in America, but little else. Last is Nicola, odd man out: a snarl, big glasses, cigarette, mussed hair, jittery fingers, bulimic, jobless, and unhappy. How they interact and play out family conflict and love is the film's subject. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Life Is Sweet  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$1,516,414 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The menu of the Regret Rien restaurant includes: Black Pudding and Camembert Soup, Boiled Bacon Comsommé, Saveloy on a Bed of Lychees, Liver in Lager, Pork Cyst, Clams in Ham with Pan-Fried Cocke-based Sauce, Prune Quiche, King Prawn (just one) in Jam Sauce, Duck in Chocolate Sauce, Tongues in a Rhubarb Hollandaise, Tripe Soufflé, Quails on a Bed of Spinach and Treacle, Kidney Vols-au-vent, Chilled Brains, Prune Quiche, Grilled Trotter with Eggs Over Easy See more »

Quotes

[Natalie and Nicola ponder having children]
Natalie: Well, I wouldn't fancy bringing one up on me own.
Nicola: It's better to be on your own than be with a bastard.
Natalie: Well, presumably you wouldn't *choose* a bastard in the first place if you had any sense!
Nicola: All men are bastards!
Natalie: *What*?
Nicola: They're all potential rapists!
Natalie: That's a bit sweeping!
Nicola: All men have got the ability to rape.
Natalie: Well they don't all do it, do they!
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Magical Mystery Tour (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Extra-ordinary
23 November 2000 | by (Manchester, England) – See all my reviews

I often fantasise about directing a movie (yes, I know I'm sad!), and I would like to think that my movies would come out like Mike Leigh's: affectionate without being sentimental, funny without crossing over into out-and-out comedy, realistic without being bleak or depressing.

This portrayal of an "ordinary" English family is everything a film ought to be. Great acting - Alison Steadman in particular - her character's relentless optimism and cheerfulness interspersed with knowing when a situation needs to be treated more seriously; Jim Broadbent as the day-dreaming father and Jane Horrocks as the anorexic Nicola. All the characters are beautifully drawn, including the minor characters (Timothy Spall as doomed chef Aubrey, Stephen Rea as dodgy-dealer Patsy, David Thewlis as Nicola's unnamed lover).

Some typical Leigh scenes include the excellently framed shot of the burger-van in the scrapyard (which could almost be a painting!), and the panning shot along the back of the row of houses (implying that similar dramas are unfolding in everyone's lives).

Not much actually happens, but that's part of the point - it takes in themes of happiness, hopes and dreams, friendship and family ties. Clearly a precursor to "Secrets And Lies", this is a simpler, purer film, but with the same message of ultimate optimism.


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