Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by
Washington Post
A delightful, forgivably stagy adaptation of Willy Russell's one-woman play, it delivers a domestic engineer from drudgery and into the arms of an aging Greek stud.
Time Out
But the virtue of Russell's writing is that, for all the cracks, occasional duff lines, and tendency to simplify and stereotype, few can match his ability to make us laugh, cry and ultimately care.
A delightful script and an equally delightful performance by Collins.
Washington Post
An uncommonly warm, relaxed little movie, the kind they call a "feel-good film," but without a cloying artificially-sweetened aftertaste.
While some may object to the storytelling techniques employed by playwright and screenwriter Willy Russell to depict his title character, others will find themselves enchanted by Shirley Valentine.
Talented actors stumbling through clichéd plot twists (Shirley’s nemeses actually envy her), flat one-liners (”Marriage is like the Middle East — there’s no solution”), and pithy self-affirmations (”I’ve fallen in love with the idea of living”) that undermine any genuine feminist sentiments.
Los Angeles Times
But honestly, Collins' vehicle is a creaky old donkey cart. [30 Aug 1989, p.C1]
Middle-aged scouse housewives and Willy Russell is a bread and butter combination: no frills, a tad repetitive, but plenty of substance nonetheless.
Banality is precisely the problem with Shirley Valentine, the one-woman stage play that has been turned into a misguided, fully cast film.
If there is a shred of plausibility in the film, it comes from Bernard Hill's performance as Shirley Valentine's husband. He isn't a bad bloke, just a tired and indifferent one, and when he follows his wife to Greece at the end of the film there are a few moments so truthful that they show up the artifice of the rest.

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