Calendar Girls

Directed by Nigel Cole

> > Jun 2004

Calendar Girls - Directed by Nigel Cole
By Amber AuthierCalendar Girls is the film version of the light-hearted story about how 11 ordinary Yorkshire, England women challenged the perceived societal distaste for the bodies of middle-aged women and broke every rule in the book about charitable giving in the process. Instead of being crippled by grief at the loss of her beloved husband (John Alderton) to Leukaemia, Annie (Julie Walters) and her long-time pal Chris (Helen Mirren) mastermind a plan to raise funds for the hospital the duo spent so much time in during his illness. The women, both members of the traditional English club the Women's Institute (aka the WI), took the stand-by annual fundraising vehicle and spiced it up. The calendar, depicting classic WI activities such as baking, painting and playing the piano, was turned on its ear when the models, all WI members, dropped their drawers (and anything else that was used to cover them). The nudity, and the legend of these women, helped increase the demand for this timekeeper. The rest of the movie follows the ladies through their trials and tribulations of this runaway hit. Their lives, turned into a media frenzy after word of the calendar got out, led them all the way to a major sponsorship deals, interviews on Hollywood late night talk shows and eventually to the production of this film. The story is surprisingly endearing and doesn't deserve all the accusations of being a feminised The Full Monty. Although both are comedies that speak to a bigger issue, Calendar Girls pushes buttons that aren't generally approached upon. Based on a true story, Calendar Girls earned Mirren a Golden Globe nomination last year. With excellent bonus footage that includes an introduction to the real life characters, deleted scenes and interviews with the actresses about nude scenes, this DVD is the perfect "girls' night in" flick. (Touchstone/Buena Vista)
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