Calendar Girls (Widescreen) product details page

Calendar Girls (Widescreen)

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A femme Full Monty (1997), Calendar Girls (2003) mines humor and charm out of the true story of older British women doffing their clothes for charity, despite reverting to perilously trite melodrama in its clumsy second half. Mercifully restrained in portraying the critical illness that provokes these Yorkshire ladies to shake up their comically dull women's club, Calendar Girls lightly builds to the moment of truth, as Helen Mirren's ballsy Chris and Julie Walters' widow Annie corral their friends for the calendar photo shoot that hilariously redefines the meaning of "cheesecake." Once the curse of fame sets in, though, the girls' predictable interpersonal crises and fateful trip to Hollywood sap the energy out of the film, leaving only the performances to save it. Sly, funny, and passionate, Mirren not only turns Chris into a complex blend of ego and sass, but also proves once again that hotness doesn't end at age 40; Walters' low-key strength makes Annie's grief palpable without becoming maudlin. The stellar supporting cast, including Celia Imrie, Annette Crosbie, and Penelope Wilton, deftly shows the fun in throwing modesty (and bras) to the wind. Even with its dramatic weaknesses, Calendar Girls remains enough of a delight for giving so many superb actresses witty, multi-layered roles. Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide