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An Awfully Big Adventure (1995)

Hugh Grant , Alan Rickman , Mike Newell  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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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 (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007P0XA0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,853 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "An Awfully Big Adventure" on IMDb

Special Features


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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
137 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely, Sad Movie... woefully misleading adverts April 25, 2005
By dooby
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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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awfully good January 21, 2001
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this excellent adaptation of Bainbridge's dark, quirky novel. Georgina Cates plays the starstruck Stella with exactly the right combination of yearning naivete and matter-of-fact aloofness. Alan Rickman is mesmerizing as legendary actor O'Hara and happily is able to attract great sympathy during what might otherwise easily be regarded as a grotesque courtship of the teenage actress. And Hugh Grant as the odious Meredith is an extremely convincing villain - it's hard to imagine more of a departure from his usual endearing mumbler, but he pulls off this role with great aplomb. Warning: focusing as it does on a young girl's loss of innocence and the unglamorous underbelly of theatre, this film is for mature audiences only.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poignant coming-of-age tale goes strangely astray. April 14, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
The actors in this movie are what drew me to it. Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman are two of my favorite performers. To see them in a movie about the theatre, well I couldn't resist.
The film starts out as a lovely coming-of-age film about a young woman's first experience in theatre.
What it turns into about two thirds of the way through is a sad, sordid tale of incest, suicide and denial. It's as if the writers suddenly started smoking something while they were trying to finish the script.
The performances in the film are worth sitting through it. Georgina Cates who plays Stella, the central character, is quite good.
Alan Rickman is wonderful as always as the dashing matinee idol on his way to being washed up.
The great delight is Hugh Grant as a snotty, prissy summer stock director. It's probably the most over-the-top I've seen him and I loved it.
I was surprised to see this listed as a comedy, but not sure where else you'd put it. It's a tough movie to pin down.
Not a movie for everyone, but it is a guilty pleasure for those of us who would watch Alan Rickman read the phone book.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy or comedy? Fine actors, at least... November 5, 2003
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Ok, I wouldn't have wathed it, if it didn't have Alan Rickman. One sees his acting so little, Harry Potter -movies really are a waste of time for people like me, who appreciate the fine adult actors in them - and see them only briefly.
Again Alan Rickman has a difficult part and comes in late in the movie. But what the heck: the movie isn't bad. And Hugh Grant can be really sleezy! I can't tell how much I enjoyed his sexually vague, self-centered director. And Georgina Cates is really wonderful. She is the one that makes this a comedy. Stella (Cates) is so determined to become a real actress, that she hangs on every word the director says and writes down his pseudo-artistic ponderings - which he himself doesn't believe after he's said them. She worships even his nicotine-stained fingers, starts wearing a hidden cross after hearing all in the theatre are catholics - she is a protestant - and fakes a venerial disease, because everyone seems to have sex with everything that moves - except her. So she decides to get rid of her virginity as soon as possible.
Rickman enters in a scene that seems to be designed for someone like him, who can hold your attention without speaking or doing anything, just looking. He walks through the theatre, people come and talk to him, say things to him... He hardly stops or opens his mouth. The director isn't happy to have him back, but everyone agrees, that no one can play Captain Hook like he can, so he is invited to join the cast. Again: Captain Hook: who else? Rickman is the villain we love. And the glimpses of Hook are really delicious. It made me again think, how people send different messages, even professional actors playing the same part.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It's terrific
The distributers didn't quite know to promote this odd film, so they took the soft option. A feel good comedy. Which it's not. Read more
Published 1 month ago by addison de witt
5.0 out of 5 stars finally there is a role that seems appropriate for hugh grant--can't...
this is a poorly named movie, but it has the same name as the book, so what can be said? finally there is a role that seems appropriate for hugh grant--can't say that i like him... Read more
Published 3 months ago by corgi fan
4.0 out of 5 stars An Awfully Mislabeled Movie.
Every now and then a movie comes along that the people distributing the film have no idea how to promote. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Chip Kaufmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story with an unexpected ending
Love any and all Alan Rickman works! The ending of this movie is totally heartbreaking and very, very believable given the circumstances.
Published 10 months ago by stella maris-martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Great acting but didn't like storyline
This film is not as it was hyped. It is not a comedy, although there are some humorous moments. Rather, it is troubling, often painful to watch. Read more
Published 10 months ago by MissPammy
5.0 out of 5 stars An Awfully Big Adventure
I love Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman's work. So when I saw this movie I knew I would just love it. The synopisis on the cover listed it as a comedy. So I was prepared to laugh. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kathleen Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare and subtle film from another time
I first watched this film in 1995 when it was first released, and I recall feeling slightly underwhelmed and unhappy about the ending. Read more
Published 15 months ago by caroline
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like, boring and pretentious...
I didn't like this one, it was boring , pretentious, tedious. I do not recommend it, even if you want to go to sleep, you would be too annoyed to sleep, and to bored to watch it.
Published 17 months ago by Song weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Loved the movie... Been waiting years to see it and it did not disappoint!!! What more can I say... Its got Alan Rickman!!!
Published 18 months ago by FireArcher84
3.0 out of 5 stars The most misleading jacket cover ever!
You would have to be disturbed to say that this is a warm hearted comedy. That said the performances in this warped story were the redeeming feature. Read more
Published 20 months ago by T. Taylor
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