Devastated by Stuart's death, his brother-in-law, lover and best friend decide to take their lives in hand. Dan is a faithful and loving father and husband, until the day he meets Corinne. This buxom and sublime Frenchwoman seduces Dan with her honesty and hedonism, so much so that he wonders if he hasn't missed out on life. Nick, a homosexual restaurant owner, begins a relationship with a high-spirited young woman right after losing his lover, Stuart. When their apparently innocent relationship takes a more intimate turn, Nick is troubled by his feelings for his female comrade. Tim, carefree and charismatic, comes home after eight years abroad. Still looking for that "elusive something" that has been missing in his life, Tim finds it in a woman who works in a fashion boutique. But confronted with his future for the first time, the only thing that stands in the way is this unknown woman's past. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
High-class soap, well written, well acted, very well crafted; dense with detail and the past; and even, in parts, tangentially related to real life. More than the story itself, it's its telling that holds one.
Three lives intersect at the funeral on the Isle of Man of a drowned 38 year-old gay restaurateur. Three stories unfold, separate but, of course, intermeshed: Number 1: The middle-aged husband (Bill Nighy) of the sister of the dead man, a gentleman farmer of limited means, is tempted to have an affair with a French florist he meets at the funeral. No. 2: The grieving gay lover (Tom Hollander) of the recently departed strikes up a relationship with a knockabout checkout clerk, a bosomy woman (Sukie Smith) he finds unconscious in his bed after a party at his house. No. 3: A roustabout black sheep (Douglas Henshall) returns after 8 years absence to fall in love, find himself, and get his life in order. What to do with the dead man's money gets bounced around like a ball till the end, where all's well that ends well. And, yes, of course, there's a fair amount of knocking boots, even a "French twist" gratuitously proffered in the front seat of a car.
The whole is larger than the sum of its parts. The independent stories, the 3 lives, are deftly linked, overlaid and interwoven, by the smallest of details, a scarf, a bottle opener, keeping you going "Aha, so that's how that fits in," achieving a light-as-air sense of simultaneity, just a hint of destiny.
All in all, very professional, witty, not too serious or heavy, like a snack of fine wine and cheese. The "Lawless" of the title, however, is a bit pretentious; there's nary an outlaw in sight ("they're lawless like jaywalking is lawless"--San Francisco Chronicle). These are times of stasis; this movie ably subsumes, embellishes that stasis, moving just enough, not too much, in it--an 18th century contentment, not elation.
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