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Judi Dench stars as a lonely middle-aged divorcee who suddenly decides to stop doing what's expected of her and start Behaving Badly.
When her husband of 20 years falls in love with a younger woman, Bridget quietly moves on. For five years she accepts her fate, filling her days with part-time work, church-going, and evening classes until a chance encounter makes her face the emotional desert her life has become. She decides to stop being so "perfectly splendid" about it all and to start breaking rules and taking risks--happily impervious to the cries of dismay from those around her.
Starring Judi Dench (As Time Goes By, A Fine Romance) in a role that won her a BAFTA award nomination, with costars Ronald Pickup (The Mission), Frances Barber (Prick Up Your Ears), and Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck, Lady Chatterly).
Based on the book by Catherine Heath. the 1989 four-part British miniseries Behaving Badly is not to be confused with the Britcom, Men Behaving Badly. Judi Dench, as ever, commands the screen in her BAFTA-nominated performance as middle-aged Bridget Mayor, who, like Jill Clayburgh's character in An Unmarried Woman, is initially shattered, but gets a new lease on life after her husband of two decades (Ronald Pickup, Fortunes of War) announces that he intends to marry his mistress younger Rebecca (Frances Barber). After a somewhat dreary first hour, dutiful and obedient Bridget blossoms and shines as she declares that "with only myself to think about, and not much to lose, I've stopped caring about other people's good opinions." Declaring her conformist days are over, she shocks family and friends, first by moving back in with her ex and his new wife, and then in the flat her daughter, Trudy, shares with a close-knit group of young professionals. She further scandalizes one and all by falling in love with one of them, and considers accompanying him to America. "My mother has stopped being splendid," Trudy frets. Less compelling is Trudy's own romantic pursuit of a black pastor.
Behaving Badly deftly mixes melodrama and comedy. Gwen Watfordias costars as Bridget's former mother-in-law and champion, who torments Rebecca and makes Marie on Everybody Loves Raymond look like June Cleaver. In an early performance, Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck) steals her scenes as a nerves-frayed, stressed-out schoolteacher. Behaving Badly anticipates the current so-called "chick lit" movement with this empowering personal odyssey that ends on an optimistically exhilarating high, as Bridget heals all family wounds, and "risks everything" to embark on her "grand adventure." --Donald Liebenson
Loved this film. It was kind of sad at times but very good. A different venue than some of Judi's films but good.Published on July 31, 2013 by Cindie Snyder
i love anything judi dench is in. adding this to my collection.hope she continues on. i love brittish comedy also.Published on May 1, 2013 by sharon redding
I enjoy Judi Dench . There was much realism in this entertaining film. I like this kind of movie. FunPublished on January 1, 2013 by Barbara Hopper
I love Judi Dench, and this film didn't disappoint. It was witty and every bit the Judi Dench I've come to know and love. It's a definite 'best' buy.Published on December 7, 2012 by Kitty7
I enjoyed all of the characters especially Judi Dench. I found it inspiring to stop caring about being proper and caring about what everyone thinks is appropriate. Read morePublished on July 3, 2012 by mc2015
Other reviewers have pretty much said it all. The first episode was extremely dreary, with the exceptions of Frieda and Seraphina. Read morePublished on June 1, 2012 by E. Murphy