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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.98%
Worth A Look76.74%
Just Average: 13.95%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 2.33%

5 reviews, 13 user ratings

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Saving Grace (2000)
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by Jason Whyte

"Brenda and Mary Jane: An explosive duo."
4 stars

I don't know about you, but I certainly do not tire of quirky British comedies. Being a Canadian who lives in a country dense with humour (you won't ever see me program my VCR for repeats of "Royal Canadian Air Farce" or the "Yuk Yuk's Comedy Tour"), I look to other countries for my laughs. And most countries do well, but the UK has a special place in my heart. Their comedy is more character driven, with dialogue and human schtick to provide the humour. Monty Python, Mr. Bean, "Whose Line Is It Anyway," "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and many others, are proof of this.

But I'm getting off topic. "Saving Grace" has its place among those enjoyable Brit-fare. It is one of these kinds of films, set in a seaside English town, where everyone knows each other by name or profession. Even if you are a sweet middle-aged lady who comes across hemp and decides to mass-produce it for major profits.

And the film is for anyone who is a fan of Brenda Blethyn. Even in her 50's, she is still a commanding face in the UK, a bright and hilarious actress who seems so at ease in films like this (see "Secrets & Lies," one of the best films ever made about family dysfunction). After her character, Grace, is widowed, it is discovered that her husband had bad investments and her mansion house will be foreclosed on. "300,000 pounds, approximately," she is told. Grace turns to her gardener (Craig Ferguson), who is low on money and is trying to grow hemp plants. Keeping them in low light in the bushes certainly won't do the trick. Grace takes the plant and before she knows it, they are growing the plants hypodermically (using strong electric light and water to grow the plants), and Grace is off to London to sell the marijuana to save her house from foreclosure.

Some truly funny moments in this film include the lights that come from the house (so bright in fact, that the townsfolk sit out in patio chairs and watch them, which looks like a nuclear blast light from their perspective), and Grace's horrors of trying to be a seller in the seedy parts of London. Wearing dapper clothing isn't the best way to go in this situation.

This is not a perfect movie, and although this could arguably be called another entry in the so called "Brit Comedy Series" (which includes "The Full Monty," "Calendar Girls", "Waking Ned Devine," "The Closer You Get" and even "Notting Hill," among many others), the fact that it is is one of the charms. The movie is not trying to make a bold statement about drug use, but is instead laughing along with the situation. Even if i've seen a lot of elements from these kinds of film before, it still works because of great actors like Blethyn, and it is what it is.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4372&reviewer=350
originally posted: 04/08/04 03:31:33
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User Comments

8/26/04 Helen Bradley A truely great British comedy 5 stars
4/11/04 Peter A VERY funny British comedy 4 stars
9/03/02 I Can't Swim Very enjoyable. Brits do small comedy better than anyone 4 stars
6/10/01 The Bomb 69 fun movie, ending was unexpected and a little too tidy, otherwaise good stuff 4 stars
12/27/00 Monday Morning Luvved the cinematography & the story wasn't bad either. 4 stars
11/05/00 Pierce Lanson Fun, bit of a hoot, 4 stars
10/24/00 Viking Has some funny moments 4 stars
10/12/00 Belinda Yeah, pretty good for a Sunday arvo. 4 stars
9/17/00 Suzz fun summer film 4 stars
9/06/00 Tigre An old lady peddling dope, but she and everyone else is wacky! ho ho ho 1 stars
9/01/00 paul C good film to take a date or your wife. solid. above average summer brit fluff. 4 stars
8/09/00 pipeman Funniest movie I've seen in a long time. Don't miss it. 5 stars
8/08/00 Heather Very funny, light-hearted romp of a movie, Brenda Blethyn shines as usual 5 stars
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  01-Sep-2000 (R)
  DVD: 19-Dec-2000


  12-Oct-2000 (M)

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