The novel opens with Jenny Bunn's arrival at her lodging-house. She's a young, strikingly beautiful, provincial Northern woman who has moved to a London suburb to take her first teaching ... See full summary »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Jenny Bunn (3 episodes, 2000)
...
 Patrick Standish (3 episodes, 2000)
Robert Daws ...
 Dick Thompson (3 episodes, 2000)
...
 Martha Thompson (3 episodes, 2000)
Neil Jones ...
 Horace Charlton (3 episodes, 2000)
Ian Driver ...
 Graham McClintoch (3 episodes, 2000)
...
 Mr. Charlton (3 episodes, 2000)
...
 Julian Ormerod (3 episodes, 2000)
Kathy Kiera Clarke ...
 Anna Le Page (3 episodes, 2000)
...
 Sheila Torkingham (3 episodes, 2000)
...
 Headmaster (2 episodes, 2000)
Bridget McConnell ...
 Miss Sinclair (2 episodes, 2000)
Natalie Roles ...
 Joan (2 episodes, 2000)
...
 Susan (2 episodes, 2000)
...
 Horse (2 episodes, 2000)
Dave Hill ...
 Mr. Bunn (2 episodes, 2000)
...
 Wendy (2 episodes, 2000)
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Storyline

The novel opens with Jenny Bunn's arrival at her lodging-house. She's a young, strikingly beautiful, provincial Northern woman who has moved to a London suburb to take her first teaching job. Jenny has rented a room in the home of a middle-aged couple, Dick and Martha Thompson. Dick Thompson, is apparently some sort of an auctioneer and his wife Martha Thompson is bored, cynical, and openly suspicious of attractive young Jenny. The Thompsons' other lodger, Anna, is apparently French. Jenny soon meets Patrick Standish, an acquaintance of the Thompsons, who is immediately attracted to her. Patrick takes Jenny on a date to what seems to her to be a fashionable, upmarket Italian restaurant, but which Amis makes clear is a classless suburban pseudo-Italianate place. Impressed, Jenny lets Patrick take her back to the house he shares with Graham, an unattractive Scottish schoolmaster. Heavy petting ensues and Patrick assumes that Jenny will sleep with him, but instead she rebuffs him and ...

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Comedy | Drama | Romance

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13 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ilyen lány kell nekem!  »

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A fine period piece!
10 June 2001 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

More Brit Lit on film. Actually the novel by Kingsley Amis was filmed in 1970 with Haley Mills as the delectable Jenny Bunn, but this is a more satisfactory 150 minute mini –series retelling of the story of how sweet schoolteacher Ms Bunn comes to middle England from the North, armed with nothing but her principles, including no sex before marriage, and handicapped by her extreme good looks. She is instantly targeted by the good-looking all round roue Patrick, a teacher in a public (ie exclusive private) school. She also has to fend off her landlord, a fellow boarder of lesbian leanings and sundry members of the country gentry.

Jenny, of course is not against sex, she just wants to wait for Mr Right. Patrick on the other hand is so used to mere lust that he doesn't recognise love when it comes along, especially in such a divine package as Miss Jenny. The story is played out at a leisurely pace against a background of green countryside, drives in open sports cars, country houses, cricket, incredibly smoky pubs and lots of grog, all permeated with the cool sound of jazz (not a rocker in sight).

As Jenny, Sienna Guillory is beautifully virginal and Rupert Greaves is charming (and very well preserved) as the dissolute Patrick. A host of minor characters make what would otherwise be a thin story into something more interesting. There's Julian (Hugh Bonneville), Patrick's landed gentry chum, with the jazz parties and the mistress in town, the awful Dick the landlord (Robert Daws) and his sneering wife (Emma Chambers), Patrick's high minded Scottish flatmate Graham (Ian Driver), whose efforts at seduction inevitably end in failure, Jenny's lesbian French room mate Anna who turns out not what she seems, the headmaster's daughter who at 18 is several laps ahead of Jenny in the sexual experiences stakes, a blackmailing parent (Jeff Rawle – the wonderful George in `Drop the Dead Donkey') desperate to get his dumb son a scholarship to Oxford, and an old Lord (Leslie Phillips) who insists on telling Patrick about his groping problem.

Anyway, it's a handsomely done production with everybody looking and sounding right. Once again we recommend you read the book. Amis was a fine writer with an flair for comedy and an eye for telling detail. The story is a slight one but the ambience very authentic – as Amis demonstrates the sexual mores of the swinging sixties were well on their way by 1959. Seeing it all up on screen I was struck by how far away it all seemed – I might as well have been watching `Pride and Prejudice' but then the scriptwriter Andrew Davies has done lots of Jane Austen. Ah, tempis fugit, as Patrick the classics master would have said. The end of the story, told by Patrick in a brief voice-over, is a sadly familiar tale.


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