Proud and determined, astride a beautiful white horse, Lady Godiva rides through the medieval streets to protest against the high taxes her husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, has levied ... See full summary »
Proud and determined, astride a beautiful white horse, Lady Godiva rides through the medieval streets to protest against the high taxes her husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, has levied against the people. Into modern day Oxford where Jemima, an attractive but quirky young school teacher, fierce and independent, sets out to resurrect her dead brother's memory through the Art Factory, the place she has created where kids can forget their troubles and enter the world of their imagination. Where anything is possible. Through a chance encounter, she meets the gorgeous Michael Bartle and is very much taken by his charms until she discovers he is the 'Godiva' man - a notorious play boy who has made his money in the lucrative world of horse breeding and is already involved with the glamorous and famous Veronica. To raise money to keep her precious Art Factory open, Michael convinces her to go on Veronica's TV show to talk about the project and to raise the much needed money to keep it open. ... Written by
OK, I'm not one for cheap shots or gratuitous personal attacks BUT I will call it how I see it: Lady Godiva is a disaster and a depressing waste of resources. It may not be the worst film ever made, but it's certainly the worst British romantic comedy ever made, beating the hateful Love Actually into a distant second place - which I guess is some kind of achievement.
So how did this happen? Firstly, the director had VERY little experience and apparently little to no interest in the 90-degree rule or continuity in general. Godiva is a mess of weird blocking and odd cuts throughout. And not in a good way. The editing feels like a salvage job which doesn't work. Secondly, and despite her inexperience, I believe the director was very badly served by some of her crew. £1.4 million in the right hands can go a LONG way, and it seems clear that some of the people involved in Godiva were not giving of their best.
Godiva feels cheap - the school and "art factory" with suspiciously few kids, the Prince William lookalike and Queen cover version on the soundtrack, the rubbish attempt at CNN-style graphics.
One thing director Vicky Jewson can fully take the blame for is Godiva's pervasive upper- class snobbery. It's there in the fawning over Prince William (woodenly played by a lookalike who unlike the real Wills isn't going bald). The snobbery is also present in the extraordinary character of Michael's 'unsuitable' girlfriend Veronica, a middle class woman who drinks martini instead of sherry and thinks that letting a horse run around the kitchen is "unhygenic" (she's got a point). Tellingly, Michael (Matthew Chambers) twice disparages Jemima's Mini. The Mini factory in Oxford has been a fixture of Oxford's economy for years, but this fact is either unknown to Jewson (likely) or ignored by her as she fetishises more upper class aspects of the city.
Over and above these flaws however is the damning fact that Lady Godiva is meaningless and unfunny from start to finish. Scenes start and finish at random points, dialogue is either completely inconsequential or totally explanatory.
Worst scene: The business meeting. Somehow, thorough a "hilarious" sequence of accidents, Michael and his business partner are shirtless when 2 Japanese businessmen enter. The businessmen, having no understanding of western culture or basic common sense then proceed to strip off. Oh, the hilarity! Then - get this! -Michael's secretary takes her blouse off! And the Japanese businessman whip out cameras and start taking pictures of her! It's like the one racist urban myth Sofia Coppola couldn't cram into Lost In Translation crossed with a '70's sitcom, only worse.
Other people on this board have nominated many other 'lowpoints' in the film. They're all right. Everything sucks.
And now, just to be fair, I must admit that over the course of the film I actually smiled once. It was when Matthew Chambers copies the "I'm watching you" gesture Robert De Niro does in Meet the Parents. God knows why I found that funny, it may have been hysteria induced by the extreme rubishness of what I was witnessing. After that my brain just shut down under the onslaught of ineptitude and wrongness.
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