Down 23,472 this week

The Secret Laughter of Women (1999)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 418 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 7 critic

A beautiful young single mother feels the pressure from the ex-pat Nigerian community to get married. Her precocious son has met his hero, a cynical English comic book writer and decides he... See full summary »


0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 401 titles
created 01 Sep 2011
a list of 24 titles
created 25 Oct 2011
a list of 590 titles
created 29 Jan 2012
a list of 829 titles
created 11 Sep 2012
a list of 32 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Secret Laughter of Women (1999)

The Secret Laughter of Women (1999) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Secret Laughter of Women.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Easy Virtue (2008)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young Englishman marries a glamorous American. When he brings her home to meet the parents, she arrives like a blast from the future - blowing their entrenched British stuffiness out the window.

Director: Stephan Elliott
Stars: Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on the life of the young Guy Burgess, who would become better known as one of the Cambridge Spies.

Director: Marek Kanievska
Stars: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Michael Jenn
Camille (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Camille is a courtesan in Paris. She falls deeply in love with a young man of promise, Armand Duval. When Armand's father begs her not to ruin his hope of a career and position by marrying ... See full summary »

Director: Desmond Davis
Stars: Greta Scacchi, Colin Firth, John Gielgud
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in modern day Buenos Aires, the film centers around a relationship between two emotionally crippled roommates. Adrian LeDuc is a lonely sociopath who is forced to rent his insane ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Donovan
Stars: Hart Bochner, Colin Firth, Dora Bryan
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

K. O'Connor, a young journalist known for her celebrity profiles, is consumed with discovering the truth behind a long-buried incident that affected the lives and careers of showbiz team Vince Collins and Lanny Morris.

Director: Atom Egoyan
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, Alison Lohman
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues.

Director: Oliver Parker
Stars: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O'Connor
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

'Circle Of Friends' is set in 1950's Ireland. The movie focuses on Benny Hogan and her best friend, Eve Malone. The story centers around Benny and Eve as they enter student life at ... See full summary »

Director: Pat O'Connor
Stars: Chris O'Donnell, Minnie Driver, Geraldine O'Rawe
Main Street (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Several residents of a small Southern city whose lives are changed by the arrival of a stranger with a controversial plan to save their decaying hometown. In the midst of today's ... See full summary »

Director: John Doyle
Stars: Colin Firth, Ellen Burstyn, Patricia Clarkson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When talk radio host Emma Lloyd advises one of her listeners to break up with her boyfriend, the jilted ex sets about getting his revenge.

Director: Griffin Dunne
Stars: Uma Thurman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Justina Machado
Nostromo (TV Mini-Series 1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In an unstable South American country, capable Nostromo, a person of trust and a legend among his shipmates, is ordered to secure a shipment of gold and stop any revolutionaries who might ... See full summary »

Stars: Claudio Amendola, Paul Brooke, Lothaire Bluteau
Lost Empires (TV Mini-Series 1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

from Lost Empires novel re;eased in conjunction with original telecast "In 1913 young Richard Herncastle joins his Uncle Nick's magic act and is introduced to the enchanted world of the ... See full summary »

Stars: Colin Firth, Gillian Bevan, John Castle
Tumbledown (TV Movie 1988)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Based on the experiences of Lieutenant Robert Lawrence, M.C..

Director: Richard Eyre
Stars: Colin Firth, Paul Rhys, David Calder


Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Field
Nimi Da Silva
Joke Silva ...
Rev. Fola
Joy Elias-Rilwan ...
Mama Fola
Dr. Ade
Bella Enahoro ...
Madame Rosa
Fizzy Roberts ...
Talking Drum
Jenny Field
Ellen Thomas ...
Bitter Leaf
Thomas Baptiste ...
Papa Fola
Willie Jonah ...
Old uncle
Ho Yi ...


A beautiful young single mother feels the pressure from the ex-pat Nigerian community to get married. Her precocious son has met his hero, a cynical English comic book writer and decides he is a match for his mum. The fall for each other but their love is tested by resistance from the community. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance



Official Sites:




Release Date:

26 November 1999 (UK)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Matthew Field: [Sammy looks at a cute girl] Forget it. Bad sign, clog sandals. They're always followed by a father with a shotgun.
[an angry looking man walks past]
Matthew Field: See?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Slightly sloppy, but it'll grow on you
9 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I wanted to love this movie. Everything seemed to be in place for an enjoyable, if not groundbreaking, film. It was set in southern France, good-looking and recognizable actors led the cast, and I really admired the vibrant African costumes, the proverbs and music. Despite all this, I didn't love it. Movies are supposed to convey their meaning at the first viewing, but "Secret Laughter" doesn't do that. Nimi and Matthew, as played by Long and Firth (both of whom have played romantic leads before and should have known better), radiate as much warmth and passion as dried fish. I used 'dried fish' deliberately, because it was one of a few - too few - strong lines and moments sprinkled throughout the film. Another winner was when Nimi catches Matthew snooping around her apartment. He finds a book of hers with her first name written on it and says: "Your name is Nimi. I never knew." Then he insists that she call him by his Christian name. I watched this scene intently as Matthew asked Nimi over and over to "say my name", realizing that up until that moment, they always called each other by their last names. I thought this was a turning point for the film, and expected that it get better. It didn't. Why do Nimi and Matthew always seem to stand at ten paces, even in that "say my name" scene? What does Matthew like about Nimi, aside from her obvious beauty? And why would a sensible woman like Nimi fall for a comic book writer who regards his marriage as something he can put on hold when a beautiful exotic 'adventure' comes along? And I'd like to add that it was a little hard for me to get behind a romance built on adultery. Yes, Jenny is a vicious harpy, but if I were in her shoes, but I'd probably match her Cruella tactics to stop my husband from straying. Believe it. The story hints at Nimi's painful past, but never fully explores it. Some critics say Firth seemed a little awkward here, and I agree. For goodness sake, the actor summoned more palpable longing and passion as that early 19th-century snob Mr. Darcy (and while wearing those hideous britches)! As for Long, who did shine in 'Love Jones', there were times when she seemed to concentrate more on her accent than playing her character. Even so, there were many moments – the 'say my name' scene among them – when she was in total control and came across really well. Yet, 'Secret Laughter' is not without its redeeming qualities, and I've found that it grew on me with more viewings. Nene was well portrayed as supportive and well-meaning, even if she doesn't fully understand Nimi's attraction to Matthew. I absolutely loved it when Nene faced off with Mama Fola in those dueling proverbs scenes. My husband liked it, and usually he's the first to sigh and throw insults at the screen if he doesn't like what is going on. He even chuckled at the scene when Sammy asked Matthew some very frank questions about sex. So there you have it. 'Secret Laughter' was good enough to entertain an avowed curmudgeon like my hubby, but an avid moviegoer like myself will need more than one viewing to appreciate what the director and writer were trying to convey.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Sexiest scene or moment! Reverie3
Critics Review lovinglife
The significance of the Tomatoes???? Reverie3
More Questions??? Skd62
Questions??? Reverie3
The Garden of Eden??? Reverie3
Discuss The Secret Laughter of Women (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: