Three 40-something women in a small English town meet weekly for a ritual of gin, cigarettes, and sweets -- and swapped stories arguing which of them has the most pathetic love life. Kate is headmistress at the local school; her best friends are the town's police chief and a cynical, thrice-divorced doctor. When Kate begins a fling with a handsome younger man, less worldly than her friends but passionate and sincere, the other women can't simply be happy for the couple's unusual new romance. In jealousy they promptly take it upon themselves to break up the pair, taking drastic measures which result in unintended outcomes, some happy and some tragic. Written by
For all its faults, I found more poignancy in this movie than I expected. I admit that I purposely avoided this movie because Andie McDowell was in it -- who is a terribly overrated (though beautiful) actress. I was surprised to discover depth where she has never shown it before -- and very subtly, so much so, that it was unfortunately missed.
I've always enjoyed how many of the English movies I've seen have a tendency to mix comedy, tragedy, and drama in a way that Americans find hard to comprehend. Is not life itself a mix of all these? Do we not have situations so painful that we have to laugh?
I don't want to make this movie more than it was, but I thought it was a sweet, quiet story about a woman who may not have had the chance to find love -- and it comes along unexpectedly, in a very unconventional form. It is rather sad to watch her struggle with her somewhat immature feelings (and as I noted, Andie M. did a superb job) and disbelief over whether she was involved in just a "crush" (ahem, perhaps where the title came from -- surely not, as some reviewer noted, from the fate of one of the characters) or true love. I also enjoyed the genuine concern of her friends -- despite their misguided, and perhaps implausible efforts to dissuade her.
The movie showed how the type of love Kate wanted, may not have been possible in her small community, in the position she held, and with the life she had already created for herself. I thought the writer/director did a fine job of showing her struggle with the implausibility of the relationship she found.
Not the best movie ever made -- but nice to see a film that focuses on friendship, which often gets pushed aside as true love prevails (an implausible plot that movie viewers most want to see -- and who find anything other than true love to be implausible!).
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