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Jenny Seagrove plays a widow who is defying her friends attempts to find her a new parter. Charles Dance is part of her circle of friends and decides that he is the one for her. He is also in the fortunate position that he is her dentist who just happens to use hypnosis on his patients. Having no luck using conventional methods to win her affections, he resorts to hypnosis which has unforseen and amusing results. Antony Edwards is a failing sports psychologist who gets caught up in the events through a series of chance meetings and the unpredictable results of the hypnosis. Written by
Richard Cathcart <email@example.com>
This is a slushie, a moving Mills & Boone. You could just as easily call it moving wallpaper. It passes a couple of hours and it doesn't offend anyone. Jenny Seagrove acts woodenly, a Lada of femmes-fatales, while Anthony Edwards strolls through the film in an apologetic decaffeinated sort of a way, looking out-of-synch with his English surroundings and upper middle class hinglish. He delivers such an uncommanding screen presence in this big-screen film that I question his wisdom in giving up his day job on Channel 4's "ER".
"Us Begins with You" is the American title. Quite clever, eh? For a moment or so. The British title is better. But it too means nothing, and tells you even less about the film. So what's it all about? Jenny Seagrove is a widow running her husband's gardening business. She's happy with her widowhood, keeps busy with the family gardening business and isn't looking for a replacement hubby. Young son is unhappy, misses dad, is under-achieving at boarding school. Jenny's friends are trying to fix her up with a fella in the shape of Charles Dance, a dentist. He does the dirty by hypnotising her in his dentists chair, aiming to make her receptive to his charms. Coincidence, and film scrptwriters, get in the way of his evil plans. Up turns Anthony Edwards, sports psychologist, who has just lost his job training Linford Christie. Honest! Can it get any worse? You betcha.
The film lasts just under two hours. Surprisingly, I wasn't bored by it. There are a few funny moments and some effective one-liners. Linda Bellingham is as delicious as ever and, along with Tom Conti, steals scenes and demonstrates to the others how it can be done. I was all the while bemused that so much effort could go into making a film that has so little impact and one which will leave no ripples in that sea of celluloid that flows our way from the distributors. No Oscars here. The ladies in the audience loved it and giggled at the naughty bits such as when the backdrop to a conversation was a diagram of female reproductive organs. Such subtlety. And these same women obligingly shed a tear in auto-response to the director's synthetic massaging of the audience's emotions. I cried too but for a different reason. Four out of ten.
C U James
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