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An Awfully Big Adventure

37 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Apr 19, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman star in director Mike Newell's (Four Weddings And A Funeral) engaging comedy about a star-struck young girl lured into the grown-up world of the theater. From a crush on the company's heartless director to her first sexual encounter with the show's biggest star, young Stella Bradshaw quickly discovers what it takes to make it in the theater.

An intriguing blend of comedy and passion this provocative story is a hilarious look at what really goes on when the lights go down.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Georgina Cates
  • Directors: Mike Newell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 19, 2005
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007P0XA0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,135 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "An Awfully Big Adventure" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 145 people found the following review helpful By dooby on April 25, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent film, moving, sad, even tragic. It is NOT a "warm hearted comedy," as it says on the back of the DVD. And it certainly is not "hilarious". The blurb on the cover is quite possibly the most misleading I have ever come across. Despite that, it is a lovely film. It is a solid, serious British drama, with an excellent all round cast. The humour where present is decidedly low key. Its predominant mood is one of sadness and loss, there is warmth to be sure, but certainly not what is projected on the cover or in the trailer. One wonders why the publicists chose to so misrepresent such a fine film. Was it because they were worried its serious and even dark nature would put off the popcorn munchers? Perhaps it would have been better if they had. Then we wouldn't have been saddled with so many negative reviews from viewers who naturally felt short-changed. Then again, this is not a movie that American audiences would readily take to.

Set in 1947, it tells the story of a 16 year old girl, Stella (Georgina Cates), abandoned at birth by a wayward mother and brought up by her aunt and uncle, who aspires to join the Theatre. Into this milieu she willingly plunges herself. She encounters sordid seedy characters. She takes on menial tasks without pay. She embraces all with a gushing eager naivete. She falls for the stage director (Hugh Grant) who in her young innocence she doesn't realise actually has a preference for boys. She then latches on to an aging Lothario (Alan Rickman) who does appreciate young girls. In this darkness in which she finds herself, past and present intersect. The absent mother she faithfully places a call to everyday, the same mother who gave her away years ago, becomes the silent confidant of her hopes and fears.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By NYriversider on June 10, 2005
Format: DVD
I'd have to concur with many of the reviewers here in their thoughts of this film. I started with certain expectations because of the film adverts. As often happens when a film already has a form in your mind, I had trouble with the lack of synergy between what was described and what I viewed. Had no one said anything but this is a foreign film full of quircky characters and a non-formulaic plot, I'd have enjoyed the first viewing much more. The actors are completely brilliant and if you accept their characters with all their quircky and often sad flaws, this film is more of a tragedy with a cast of eccentric (and often very funny) characters. After setting aside and coming back to it, I found I really enoyed this movie. And it's true, each viewing seems to show another layer or has me focus on another character. Rickman's performance is pun intended. :-) And incredible that a woman the age of (rumor has it) at least 30+ if not 40's) was able to carry off the role of the very affecting Stella.

I love Hugh Grant's character who appears to be the 'bad guy' but finally you're left wondering if he didn't just speed along the inevitable. He's still a bit of a conundrum, because he's surely written to be unlikable but is that a challenge to the moviegoer to see past the veneer, or is the veneer all their is...hmm... Oy I'm getting dizzy. :-)

I really think this rates high in the quicky foreign film category and perhaps not quite an Ameilie but certainly had it been marketed more in that vein the right audience and movie would have found each other!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Kilbourne on May 6, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant are spectacular in this film. It's a dark, tragic comedy for those of us with a dry sense of humor. Many reviewers, I've noticed don't think this film funny at all, but there are amusing bits if you enjoy dark humor. This film, taking place in the 1940's, deals with the inner-workings, the darker side if you will, of the theater buisness. Stella (Georgina Cates) is a naive young girl trying to make her way in the buisness. She quickly falls in love with Meredith Potter (Hugh Grant)and begins her journey in the industry. This film deals with love, sex, death, alcoholism and much more. Any fan of Alan Rickman will certainly enjoy his superb acting in the film, same goes for Hugh Grant fans. This is an excellent addition to your dvd library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. DeNicolo on August 26, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
During the first viewing of this film I was only concentrating on two things. When, oh when, is my dear Alan Rickman going to come on screen, and what the HECK is the main character "Stella" saying?!? When AR finally makes his debute we are about 50 minutes into the film and he is the tall, cool drink of water we have been desperate for. Watching it without the subtitles, you get a general idea of what's happening-but unfortunately you miss several great lines and key points, that at the time they are said mean nothing-but will no doubt come back to you in the last ten minutes of the film. Over all I do believe it is a good film. And I have watched it several times, since the first viewing (all with the subtitles on!)

If you like surprises and don't mind "dark and twisty" reveals, at the end of a story-then do not read other reviews. Since AR is very good at the dark and twisty, I have learned to adapt and take nothing for granted. I went into this film knowing what the "reveal" would be at the end. And to behonest, you are so swept up in the story, that when it is revealed, you can feel nothing but sorrow-as opposed to the "ick" factor. If you are a fan of Alan Rickman's-this is a definite for your library. Hugh Grant also stars in this film. Though if dark and twisty disturbs you from the likes of Hugh Grant-this will leave you less infatuated with him.

Also, if you are familiar with the tale Peter Pan, this film wil help to define some concepts left unexplained. I have just recently read Peter Pan and can now appreciate where the title of this film comes from.
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