Roundly fails to deliver on the potential inherent in both script and cast
When their mother passes away, estranged sisters Theresa, Mary and Catherine come back together for the funeral. Theresa is the eldest and expected to hold everything together despite her own stresses. Mary is being "haunted" by visions of her dead mother, bringing buried secrets and pain to the surface a situation not helped by her already fragile relationship with married lover Mike. Meanwhile youngest sister Catherine seems no different from the last time she was seen spinning from man to man, keeping everything soft with drug use. As the funeral approaches, secret or buried hurts come out within the family.
From Lewis Gilbert and featuring a great cast when I read the credits in the paper, I had reasonable hopes for this film. Sadly they were mostly dashed in a film that didn't seem to have a handle on what it actually wanted to do. The result of this is that the script is keen to embrace a quick joke or attempts at colourful characters but seems either unwilling or (more likely) unable to get to the heart of the matter and deliver and emotionally engaging film that is full or real hurt, real healing and real people. This leaves the film floating around in a way that is not bad but is certainly not any good meaning that I got more and more bored as the film went on, to the point where I left the room for five minutes but couldn't be bothered to pause the DVD.
The cast aren't able to do much without the help of writer or director. Walters flaps around but is nothing more than a flustered comedy character who doesn't actually produce laughs. Whalley is handed the greater responsibility and the stronger character but fails to do much with it; she and her mother share the strongest scenes but neither is that good and their scenes lack a real emotional hook. Hamilton is only ever annoying and feels like an easy cliché for the writers, once they had written the first two characters. The male support is so-so mainly because neither Hannah or Wilkinson are really given much to work with and are very much on the edges of the film.
Overall this was a disappointing film that didn't do anything that it had the potential to do. Not bad per se but it certainly isn't any good as it roundly fails to deliver on the promise of complex relationships. The cast offer much but aren't given anything to work with and only do OK. Not really worth a look to be honest.
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