Middle aged Chris Harper and Annie Clarke are best friends. They spend much of their time at their local Knapely, Yorkshire County chapter of the Women's Institute (WI), whose motto is "enlightenment, fun and friendship". Although they like most of the women at the WI (the friendship part), they, but the perceived flaky Chris in particular, hold the way Marie, the local president, runs the chapter with derision. They find much of what goes on there, especially the monthly presentations, banal and devoid of enlightenment and fun. Equally as banal was last year's fund-raising calendar, featuring local bridges, which raised a meager £75.60, with this year's proposed calendar, local churches, promising to be even more so. After Annie's husband John passes away from leukemia, Chris wants the WI to provide a memorial in his memory: a new sofa for the family room at the hospital. The one Chris wants to buy costs £999, which she proposes to raise by changing the fund-raising calendar to one ... Written by
At press conference, as Chris is making her way to the front, journalists are holding cassette recorders out, as if seeking comment. However, they are playing their recorders, not recording, since the play buttons are pushed, but the red record buttons are not. See more »
The cast list is split into two halves. The first thirteen actors/characters (Helen Mirren/Chris to John Fortune/Frank) are followed by the main crew such as the producers, writer and director, with the remaining cast appearing after this. See more »
One of the most delightful films of recent years, `Calendar Girls,' a distaff version of `The Full Monty,' is the true story of a group of middle-aged English women who became international celebrities when they designed and posed for a nude fundraising calendar that sold millions of copies worldwide. Julie Walters and Helen Mirren head a wonderful cast, with Walters as a woman whose husband dies of leukemia and Mirren as her best friend who comes up with the idea of the calendar as a way of both honoring his memory and raising money for the local hospital.
The risk for any `feel good' comedy is that it will become cloying, coy or cutesy. Luckily, `Calendar Girls' boasts an enormously witty screenplay and first-rate performances by its highly gifted cast. Each of the `girls' is given her own unique personality so that we see them not just as a group, united in this inspiring endeavor, but as individuals working through their own personal demons on the rode to the project's completion. The women face the expected roadblocks and snafus in the form of `shocked,' disapproving voices in the community, but their belief in the rightness of their cause brushes all such problems aside.
This charming film provides more genuine, out-and-out laughs than almost any comedy of recent times. `Calendar Girls' is heartwarming, touching and inspiring and what more could one ask from a `feel-good' film than that?
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