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Shirley Valentine (1989)
A thoughtful comment on a fabulous film
This is a sweet yet hilariously funny film about a housewife from the north of England, who takes a trip to Greece and finds that there is more to life than the kitchen sink.
It's one of those films that should be seen by anyone that has at any point felt that there's something missing in their life or that they've had missed opportunities as you will have great empathy with the main character Shirley. Having said that, it's generally just a great film. Not only does it do a very good job at putting one in Shirley's shoes but it's also a great social comment about an average English persons life.
Having said all this, it's one of the funniest films I have ever seen. The humor is ever present throughout the film yet never takes away from the seriousness of Shirley's situation. I found I was smiling to myself all the way through. I particularly liked the way that it pokes fun at the common Englisman's appreciation of foreign hospitality.
Each character brings great life to the film particularly Pauline Collins and Tom Conti. Pauline's regular off-the-cuff comments add character to the film while Tom's smarmy approach entwined with his overall role in the story (without wanting to spoil it) make for an excellent watch.
Great appearances by Julia McKenzie, Alison Steadman and Joanna Lumley add great depth to Pauline's character whilst adding great comedy and life to the film.
Shirley Valentine is a gem of a film and a must see. The style is certainly not "Hollywood" and it appeals to the same tastes as other English greats such as -The Full Monty-.
I give it a strong 10 out of 10.
Fresh textbook trite.
This film really isn't all that its cracked up to be. A Psychiatrist becomes a patient in her own institution. She believes she's sane and her ex-colleagues do not. This catch 22 situation is the basic plot of the film, and the film continues on such a path until the end, where in my opinion the film falls completely apart. Viewers fears were stirred by screaming, exclusive night time and dark scenes, and the unoriginal scary music. I feel there was more reliance on cinematography than a good plot. A good film of this genre should not have to rely on screaming, dark scenes and scary music at key moments, and that such tools should accentuate the plot, not make up for it. Dark scenes work well in some films, say for example Blue Velvet by David Lynch, however I found towards the end of this film that I was sick and tired of the darkness. If a cinematographic tool such as dark scenes are used to accentuate the feeling of terror etc, its probably best that the viewer does not realize this and become alienated from the plot. I wont go further into the plot of the film, except to say that at points I cringed. If you go and see the film, try not to view it objectively, you'll be disappointed as I was.