- I did not wake up with the intention this morning to go to the movies but I got waylaid somewhere between Fabricland and McDonalds. Such is life. I also had no idea what this movie was about; I selected it on the basis that it was the only one starting in the near future. Sometimes it’s better to see a movie this way, sans any expectations whatsoever.
- I was mildly startled to see Jessica Biel’s name appear first in the opening credits, since I then feared what I was getting myself into and silently cursed myself for not having done any research. She mostly proved me wrong, though, because she was passably appealing as the modern (she wears pants!) American motorist who drops in on the proper and properly dysfunctional Whittaker family after marrying their son John. The movie is based on a Noel Coward play of the same name and while it felt faintly foreign to hear that kind of language and metre coming out of her mouth — she said “sardonic” at one point and I was slightly taken aback — I suppose it worked on some level since she was specifically not meant to fit in with the other actors. I probably would have enjoyed the role more with someone else in it, but I liked Biel well enough.
- Speaking of Noel Coward, we had seen a trilogy of Coward’s short plays a couple of weeks ago at the Shaw Festival and I feel like Kristen Scott Thomas could easily have played a role in any of those plays as well. Maybe she’s made for Coward, I don’t know.
- It occurred to me that the reason I hate suburban family dysfunction in movies is because it’s done so humourlessly; comedies of manners like this one have enough good sense to deal with it with a nice dry wit rather than Solemn Seriousness™.
- FABULOUS COSTUMES. I want 1920s trousers with buttons.
- I’m not usually one for pratfalls, but the scene where Larita sat on the dog was pretty funny.
- I was surprisingly not skeeved out by Larita taking up with her father-in-law and hightailing it off the family estate.
Categories: 3.5 stars