Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson), the vicar for the small English country parish of Little Wallop, has allowed his marriage to Gloria (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas) go stale, and he is so detached from his family, that he has not taken notice that his seventeen-year-old daughter Holly (Tamsin Egerton) is going through a succession of relationships with unsuitable boyfriends, and his son Petey (Toby Parkes) fears going to school, owing to being bullied. Out of desperation for affection, Gloria begins to fall for the advances of Lance (Patrick Swayze), an American golf pro who is giving her "private" lessons. The problems upsetting the family start to fade away after Grace Hawkins (Dame Maggie Smith), the new housekeeper, arrives and starts tending to matters as an older, and rather darkly mysterious version of Mary Poppins (1964).Written by
I thoroughly enjoyed this gentle comedy which as other reviews have mentioned is in the best traditions of British film comedy, pre "Carry On". The action is gentle paced and contains no surprises, as the plot opener spells out the likely twists and turns. The characters are stock British parts, almost "off the peg". It is not a film for belly laughs but the comedy is there, but not from Rowan Atkinson who plays the role of vicar with as straight a bat as one could wish. The other well knows actors all ham it up beautifully and the Isle of Man looks wonderful and, like the film, twenty years out of date. I particularly liked Patrick Swayze's reptilian lothario and Maggie Smith was her usual immaculate self.
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