Sunday, April 13, 2008

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: on my list of movies to see if you’re past your 47th birthday.

I’m wiping the tears off my face and Gail says to me: “Thank god, I thought that piece of crap was never going to end.”

“Well,” I say, striving for balance. “ I can’t defend it, but I enjoyed it. In fact I loved it. It isn’t often you get to see a movie where a very plain woman, full of gumption and good sense, hungry and jobless, forced to stand at a soup kitchen for a bowl of Dickensonian-looking porridge magically lands a job as secretary to a dippy pretty young thing with a complicated love life and a dazzling social circle, all within hours.

Whereupon this same woman changes the life of everyone she meets and ends up with a man her own age (Claran Hinds, fabulous Irish actor, last seen in There Will be Blood) who is a great success as a designer of woman’s lingerie, but finds it unrewarding and decides to go back into men’s socks because really their structure is more complicated than you think and who tells her quite matter-of-factly (it’s the same performance he gave in There will be Blood ) that he’s been looking for her all his life.

Really, what’s not to like?” I ask her. “How many movies have you seen lately when a 40 plus woman ends up with a successful, handsome man, with no obvious health problems, who’s like her same age?”

She says: “It was a great big boring mishmash of every 40’s musical comedy I’ve ever seen and it didn’t even have any good dancing in it.” I retire from the argument… she goes to the ladies room and meets a young woman who loved it and now she’s rethinking the whole thing.

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