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This review is from: A Private Function (DVD)
"A Private Function" is a very funny movie, not classic, but marginally memorable. It's function is two-fold. It serves as a ribald account of life in post-war Britain notably rationing and food shortages. It's also pays homage to the great Ealing comedies of yesteryear. I was most reminded stylistically of "Whiskey Galore" and "Passport to Pimloco". This film, however, takes a harder edge than those films from a gentler time. There's some food for thought between the laughs. Imagine for a second housewives reduced to screaming banshees queing up for the last bit of meat that may or not have last seen action at the local racetrack. Butchers plying their trade taken out in handcuffs by overzealous constables. Of course there's the inevitable black market cropping up unseen in any democracy. Oh, yes, everybody's getting ready for the upcoming nuptials between Elizabeth and Philip. Serious stuff but director Malcolm Mowbray and co-scenarist Allen Bennett leaven it with cheeky humor that's unmistakingly British. The cast is uniformly excellent. Michael Palin as a gentle podiatrist delegates most of the laughs to Maggie Smith as his brassy wife. Good work is also done by Liz Smith as Maggie's septugenarian mother who's worried about senility and vets Denholm Elliott and Richard Griffiths as aristocrats trying to purloin the prize pig for their exclusive and very private function. I'd like to thank the previous reviewer for pointing out the presence of Pete Postlethwaite and his recent demise which I was unaware of. Postlethwaite gave one of my favorite performances in "In the Name of the Father".