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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… it's kind of boring … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    At least Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day has the good grace to go wrong quickly, you don't have to sit there squirming with doubt.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Adams, of course, is a peach. Her sparkle requires only minor character adjustment and twinkle recharging from her recent triumph as the old-fashioned modern heroine in "Enchanted."

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A good farce is hard to find. Particularly one that holds up for the entirety of the story and keeps us engrossed, while smiling. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a particularly effective and cheeky example.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Style is a tricky, elusive thing, and this film doesn’t so much have it as strive for it, constantly. But something in Watson’s story endures: The wish-fulfillment truly satisfies. And with the war clouds gathering by story’s end, the fairy tale acquires a bittersweet edge, nicely cutting all that whipped cream.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Sustains itself through terrific forward momentum and two glorious star turns by gifted actresses Frances McDormand and Amy Adams.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Adams shines brightly, reinforcing the image she projected in Junebug and enhanced in Enchanted and Charlie Wilson's War. At this time of the year, it's tough to find a more diverting way to spend 90 minutes in a multiplex.

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  • See all Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Charming period comedy is a frothy fairy tale.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is essentially a feel-good fairy tale, albeit one with adult overtones. There's some partial nudity -- Amy Adams parades around in one scene with nothing but a towel covering her front, for example -- and a handful of innuendoes. The plot is fairly mature, too, in that it's about a woman who craves stardom and will do everything -- including bed a producer -- to achieve it, even if it means losing the one man who's right for her. But there's no swearing except for "damn," and the smoking and social drinking are accurate for the late-'30s setting. And the movie approaches its heavier topics with a delightfully light touch, ultimately sending a positive, life-affirming message.

  • Families can talk about what drives Delysia to succeed. Do you see any parallels between her situation and that of today's aspiring media stars? Why are people willing to make sacrifices to be famous? Families can also discuss why Miss Pettigrew has such an effect on Delysia. What effect does she have on Miss Pettigrew? In the movie, they both undergo an overnight change; is that believable? If not, does it matter? What do they learn from each other?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: An ambitious woman is poised to throw away the love of her life to achieve stardom; she juggles three suitors (without telling any of them about the others) -- one for connections, another for the thrill, and a third for love. Nevertheless, she's sweet and warm and helps Miss Pettigrew out of her shell. And in the end, love triumphs.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: A fistfight breaks out in a nightclub, and a man punches another with glee. World War II looms over the entire proceedings as bombers fly over London.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Lots of sexual innuendo doled out in witty repartee; a woman walks into a bedroom and finds a man naked under a sheet (there's an oblique reference to his erection, though that word isn't used); Delysia swoons over her "passionate" suitors; at one point, she steps out of a bath and prances around naked except for a towel that covers her front (the side of her body from shoulder to legs is visible, but no sensitive bits); she also walks around in lingerie; another woman cheats on her boyfriend and is witnessed kissing another man.

  • language false0

    Language: Squeaky clean, except for "hell" and "damn," which one character says doesn't really count as swearing anyway.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Signage for the Savoy Hotel; mention of a lingerie store; Miss Pettigrew and Delysia go shopping.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cocktails flow easily and often; some social smoking (accurate for the period).