Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Glamorous. The Flossy-flossy.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Release: 03/07/2008
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 32 minutes

Full Price ($$$$) <> Matinee ($$$)

Our story begins on the eve of World War II. After being discharged from her services as a governess, Miss Guinevere Pettigrew, portrayed by Frances McDormand (Friends with Money), finds herself once again at a London unemployment office. Pleading and desperate for work, she snatches the card of a potential employer. The card leads her to the flat of Delysia Lafosse, played by Amy Adams (Serving Sara). From the moment she arrives, Miss Pettigrew is sucked into the sordid social circle of the aspiring actress-singer. The hungry and penniless Pettigrew is swept into a glamorous world of delicacies and extravagance as fantasy and reality collide.

Frumpy. Dowdy. Haggard. Unkempt. All are excellent words to describe the initial impression of Miss Pettigrew. However, McDormand breathes a combination of determination, ingenuity and compassion that shines through the muck and the mire. Good thing for her because Amy Adams sparkles. Adams commands the screen as the easily panicked but outwardly cool Delysia. She’s a saucy minx who dangles her affections amid three gentleman callers who bear gifts of love, fortune, and celebrity. The three suitors don’t really matter; it’s the apparent contrasts between the women that fuel this engaging affair.

The scenes pop with the d├ęcor and fashion of the period. The story moves quickly thanks to the snappy dialogue and the actresses’ skills. Visually, the camera is sluggish in comparison to the sizzle of the surroundings; a shame given the fiery performances. I got the sense the director was trying to capture the simpler feel of films from that era, but since I know nothing about said films, I cannot say if he accomplished this goal.

Dirty Undies
Oooooohhh, so close! There’s a very, very nice bathtub scene that reminds me of the Birth of Venus painting. The scene reveals a lot of Adams’ curves and for the briefest of moments I thought we’d get a glimpse of those redwoods, but it was not to be. However, costar Tom Payne does give us an eyeful. The only other noteworthy moments are Adams’ randy conversations and sensual mannerisms.

Folks may recognize actress Shirley Henderson playing Delysia’s friend, Edythe. You may be more familiar with her as Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter series.

The Money Shot
Certainly not the best made or most clever film I have ever seen but one that’s worth watching on the merits of its stars. I do know that despite being predictable, it was a delight being along for the ride.

P.S. I am beginning to wonder if my medication is thinning out the manliness in me because this makes the third romantic comedy in as many months that I have enjoyed.

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  1. Rom-coms can be okay, but this looks just way too feminine for my tastes...

  2. I'd place this one safely in the frou frou column. McDormand and Adams made this totally sufferable for me.

    What's been weird for me is I normally loathe rom-com's yet I've had this surprising trend of enjoyable ones lately.

    The end is nigh, I tells ya!

  3. Awesome! I'm so excited to see this. Hopefully it'll come to the cold north. So excited to see it. Thanks for the good review.

  4. @Jess- Thanks! I hope you get it soon. I'd love to hear your take on it.