2003 - Dir.: Nigel Cole
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on November 27th, 2004
It's perhaps inevitable that the FeckenOdeon found it hard to resist showing this film in the Hall that has hosted literally thousands of Women's institute meetings - and continues to do so on the second Thursday of every month..... Feckenham WI have so far declined to give a practical demonstration - though members of the real life Calendar Girls from Highgyll W.I. make cameo appearances in the film.
This is the kind of good-humoured comedy that used to feature Margaret Rutherford, although Helen Mirren and Julie Waiters, its daring stars, would have curled Dame Margaret's eyebrows! Tim Firth and Juliette Towhidi infuse the script with a gentle, warm sense of humour. The British talent for self mockery saves us (and the ladies) from any embarrassment and we laugh along with the "Girls" rather than at them. The participant's sheer spirit makes them seem much younger than they appear, and their sheer fun is infectious. Modesty is mostly preserved - thank God for the flower arrangements! Like last season's "Waking Ned" this is a little celebration of maturity... and of a second childhood that is often much more fun than the first! It also proves that, given the chance, we can still make very fine films this side of the Atlantic.
• Contrary to the film's storyline, the head office of the Women's Institute supported and encouraged the publication of the calendar.
• The real women of Rylstone and District Women's Institute (all names and places have been changed in the film) raised over £600,000 for medical research.