Combustible Celluloid
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With: Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, John Alderton, Linda Bassett, Annette Crosbie, Philip Glenister, Ciaran Hinds, Celia Imrie, Geraldine James, Penelope Wilton
Written by: Tim Firth, Juliette Towhidi
Directed by: Nigel Cole
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for nudity, some language and drug-related material
Running Time: 108
Date: 08/09/2003

Calendar Girls (2003)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Date Movie

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This delightful romp takes a true story and sandwiches it into the lucrative Full Monty formula of British ensemble comedies, but unlike many of those movies, Calendar Girls has a bright and cheery sparkle to it. Helen Mirren and Julie Walters lead a cast of fifty-something women who are bored of their ladies' club activities. When one of their number loses her husband to cancer they decide to put together a nude calendar for their annual fundraiser to support other families experiencing this loss and to raise money for the local hospital (enough to buy a sofa). It becomes a smash success and each character struggles between the joys of fame and the responsibilities of real life. Director Nigel Cole does some lovely things with his widescreen (1 to 2.35) frame, especially in the Hollywood sequences, and Juliette Towhidi and Tim Firth's screenplay allows sufficient down time for each character to breathe. Miramax's new DVD comes with two "making-of" documentaries and deleted scenes.

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