7.5/10
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31 user 38 critic

Life Is Sweet (1990)

R | | Comedy, Drama | December 1991 (USA)
A waitress, her cook husband, & their twin daughters ponder their lives over a few weeks in a working-class suburb north of London.

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8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Nicola's Lover
Moya Brady ...
Paula
...
Steve
...
Customer
Paul Trussell ...
Chef (as Paul Trussel)
Jack Thorpe-Baker ...
Nigel (as Jack Thorpe Baker)

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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:

A Vida é Doce  »

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

Aubrey's bizarre recipes were devised by Mike Leigh and Timothy Spall over the course of an evening, and then checked for plausibility with a professional chef, who advised them about which ones were technically impossible to prepare; all the ones that appear in the film are, as Leigh put it, "all feasible, gross as it sounds." See more »

Quotes

Patsy: [in a pub after a few beers] far as I'm concerned, football died, the day Arsenal won the double.
Andy: that's right. yeah
Patsy: what was they, workhorses.
Andy: boring buggers hey.
Patsy: well the spurs double team, they was artists.
Andy: they was artists.
Patsy: 21 quid a week they got, can you imagine. what do they get today, millions.
Andy: and they got their backhanders on top of that ain't they.
Patsy: poncing round the penalty area with their handbags.
Andy: primadonnas
[...]
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Soundtracks

Happy Holidays
By Rachel Portman and Julian Wastall
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User Reviews

 
A sublime slice of ordinary life from Mike Leigh
9 September 2003 | by (York, England) – See all my reviews

A sublime slice of ordinary life from Mike Leigh. He takes us through 5 days in the life of a London family: Jim Broadbent, Alison Steadman and their twin daughters Claire Skinner and Jane Horrox. What follows is by turns touching, hilarious and unsettling. Leigh is often compared to Ken Loach, but Loach deals with unspeakably grim and often melodramatic scenarios. The far more impressive gift of Leigh is to make tales from the apparently unremarkable. So many touches run true here; Steadman doing a little dance to herself alone in the kitchen, Broadbent and Stephen Rea drunkenly reciting the Spurs Double side, Skinner describing an arthritic old woman met on her plumbing round. And the tragedy of the film is also unveiled naturally and feels horribly believable.

The performances are also astonishing. Broadbent and Steadman, both distinctive actors, can descend into parody but here are just hugely enjoyable. Skinner is nicely deadpan but the star is Horrox, playing a twitching wreck of a girl who mainly communicates in one word insults. Little wonder she's been given so many chances to prove her talents subsequently, just a shame she's never taken them. The only false note is Tim Spall as a manic chef. Perhaps that's because he's simply put in for comic value (he was far better in Leigh's 'Secrets and Lies'), his character given none of the depth which lights up the rest of the film.


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