Dave's Rating:


… just so darn cute.

Who's in It: Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Christopher Guest, Will Young

The Basics: Based on a true story, the film follows a rich widow (Dench) who opens a London theater in the late 1930s. During WWII, she turns it into a theater that features all-female nude reviews. The troops do not complain.

What's the Deal? It's cute when old people are naughty. That's something you can bank on in movies. In real life, it might seem creepy for a senior citizen to be coaxing you into taking off all your clothes, but when it's Judi Dench and she's calling you "Darling" and saying how "delicious" everything is, you'd probably be naked in five seconds just because you think she's so adorable and you want to amuse her. The whole movie trades on Dench's exuberance as Mrs. H, and it wins on that count …

Then Come the Bombs: And at that point the movie sort of forgets that she's there. The script gets messy and unfocused and takes enormous pains to remind you of how brave everyone was during the Blitz. Even the naked chicks are holding up V for Victory hand signals and inspiring everyone. It's a good thing there was no dog in the cast or the camera would have cut away for a reaction shot of the dog being cutely brave too.

Sometimes More Is Just More: There's Judi Dench running around in kabuki disguises and dancing-bear costumes, there's a Judi Dench–Bob Hoskins thwarted-love subplot that just sort of dies out, there's a naked chick–soldier love sub-subplot that only exists to yank the emotional rug out from under you. But you kind of end up forgiving it for all of its wrongs because it's just so darn cute.

And for the [British] Kids: There's UK pop star Will Young — he was the first winner of Pop Idol, the show that spawned American Idol — which makes him the Kelly Clarkson of England. He gets naked too.

So Does Bob Hoskins: Full-frontal.


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