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Helen Miren is great as the feisty and opinionated Chris, whose involvement alienates her family. Julie Walters is very likeable and sympathetic as the new widow. Ciaran Hinds, who has starred in many period films, has a small but good role as Chris' husband.
Most of the movie is beautifully photographed in rural England and it is simply idyllic. This is in sharp contrast to the unsavory scenes filmed in Hollywood (when the ladies appear on The Tonight Show.) The story is heartwarming, but avoids being syrupy. The nude scenes are tastefully done, and played for laughs, as one would expect. The real calendar, by the way, has so far raised $1.6M for a new cancer hospital wing (and the new sofa). I heartily recommend this refreshing and well-made comedy.
In the film adaptation, Helen Mirren plays Chris Harper (based on real-life Tricia Stewart) and Julie Walters and John Alderton play Annie and John Clark respectively (based on Angela and John Baker). The calendar saga, from conception to realization and international fame, is centered in the fictional village of Knapley. Harper originally gets the idea after 1) finding a soft porn magazine hidden in her teenage son's room and 2) noticing a girlie calendar on the wall of a village shop. The plan is to produce and sell 500 copies of the calendar to raise the 900 pounds necessary to buy a new sofa for the Relatives' Waiting Room in the local hospital in which John Clark died of his disease. Not only must Chris and Annie surmount the understandable reluctance of their friends and fellow WI members to pose nude (not "naked"), but also convince the chairwomen of the District and National WI that the reputation of the organization won't be sullied.Read more ›
Something in John's WI speech motivates Chris; "The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire", he wrote. "In each phase of their lives, they become more radiant". This impowers Chris and Annie to recruit 10 more WI members to strip down to the buff and pose for a professional photographer. The pictures turn out great, but the girls face trouble when their local WI branch president wants to put a stop to what she feels is a scandalous idea. Chris and Annie have to fight the head WI counsel, and each other, as their popularity grows. They go from Yorkshire, to the Jay Leno show in L.A. (where they lounge by their hotel pool with Anthrax!), and back again. But the huge success of the calendar begins to distract Chris from her family responsibilities, and threatens to put up a hedge between her and Annie. Helen Mirren gives a wonderful performance, and is well deserving of the Golden Globe she has been nominated for. A film not to be missed. For those who whine about having to see women over 50 in the nude, you've missed the point. Personally, I think these women look pretty darn great for their age!
"I think we're going to need significantly bigger buns."
This is a must-see for anyone who has ever truly loved a woman. "Calendar Girls" makes a great Mother's Day gift too!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really and truly enjoyed the movie. I have watched it more than once and will watch it again in the future! Very well done!!!!! EXCELLENT!Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great movie. Loved the story but a little hard to understand the accent some of the time.Published 3 days ago by Kathleen Meyer
Saw this on cable and had to order it for my over-and-over again viewing. I am an OLD man and now alone. The women actors in this movie are 20-30+ years younger than I. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Healthy Smile