Title: Shirley Valentine
Country: US, USA
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Writer: Willy Russell
This film is derived from the eponymous Tony-award winning play starring Pauline Collins as the titular protagonist, who reprises her role on the big screen by director Lewis Gilbert, the film captures two Oscar nominations BEST ACTRESS for Collins and BEST ORIGINAL SONG “THE GIRL WHO USED TO BE ME”.
Entertainingly satisfactory, SHIRLEY VALENTINE features a direct talking-to-you approach from the very start (also including talking-to-the-wall and talking-to-the-Greek-stone antics), and it distinctively assists the film to be saturated in a zanily humorous tone, and all the dialogues are astutely written, after 20 years, it still could feasibly express the zeitgeist of the independence of woman in a quite smart fashion.
Collins is fully equipped with all the wisecracks which can easily crack audience up with and the life-inspiring adventure in an exotic country to pursue self-seeking catharsis has its adequate ammunitions to cheer up middle-aged women who are trapped in their drudgeries and may set a paradigm but in reality a free trip to Greece does not happen every day, although the uplifting message has been effectively and manifestly delivered and Collins is spectacular in conveying her pertinent way of narrating with the viewers, and successfully mingles the mundane escapism with a whiff of upscale self-esteem (as a theatrical old-hander, she might could overdo it), although her nude scenes are rather too realistic to be admired on screen, it is gutsy for the actress per se, but this feminist bravura is plain unnecessary. Tom Conti and Bernard Hill are the two male foils, one is Shirley’s Greek womanizer, one is her stereotyped British husband, both are serviceable and it has a wackily comical response to watch Conti murmuring with his feigned Greek accent while wooing his sex prey. Also in the Liverpool locale, Collins’ inadvertent encounter with her high-school bestie (a wonderful cameo of Joanna Lumley) is pure amazement, especially when Lumley gracefully confesses to Collins her high-end occupation, this is the authentic Anglo spirit!