Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|How About You|
Actors: Joss Ackland, Brenda Fricker, Joan O'Hara, Vanessa Redgrave, Imelda Staunton
Director: Anthony Byrne
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Ellie, a free-spirited and headstrong young woman is left in charge of a residential home over the Christmas holidays. Her youth and inexperience bring her into bitter conflict with the four grumpy old residents. HOW ABOUT... more »
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A Fine Comedy
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 04/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""How About You?"
A Fine Comedy
"How About You?" is a fun comedy about the antics of four grumpy residents of a house, an unlikely romance and how the residents and Ellie, a high-spirited and headstrong young woman who is in charge of the house. This is one of those irresistible films that keeps you laughing and warms the heart.
Ellie is left in charge of a residential home which is run by her older sister. She is to take care of the residents over the Christmas season. Most of the residents, save four, have left to spend the holidays with family but the four that remain are known as the "hardcore". Their behavior is so bad that the home is moving toward closure because of the four's horrible behavior.
The home is a posh assisted living facility in the lovely Wickow section of Ireland. Ellie (Hayley Atwell) has moved in as a staff member. She is forced to deal with the dysfunctional four--Donald Vanston (Joss Ackland), a judge who was forced off the bench because of alcoholism, Georgia Platts (Vanessa Redgrave), a once beautiful stage and screen star who has dropped out of society, Heather (Brenda Fricker) and Hazel (Imelda Staunton), two spinster sisters who cannot deal with life.
The film is based on a story by Maeve Binchy and directed by Anthony Byrne and has the feel of a Hallmark Hall of Fame offering. The four do not like each other very much and they really do not care for anyone at all. The four seem to be mean spirited people at the end of their days and they lead bitter lives. The story is touching and heartwarming and the actors are excellent. The only problem is that you know exactly where it is going from the moment it begins. Even with its predictability, it entertains. The dialogue is snappy and the cast is great. It is a sentimental movie as it shows us the consolations of civilized conversation. It is a simple film that stays that way throughout and I had a great time watching it.
Good Performances & A Pretty Good Movie
D. Hupp | Woodbridge, VA United States | 04/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed this amusing UK production and recommend it to those who appreciate the acting of Vanessa Redgrave and such solid performers as Joss Ackland, Brenda Fricker and Imelda Staunton.
At first, the story seemed a bit disjointed, but, upon further reflection, I found the first and last parts of the story to be revealing about the 2 main characters, Kate and Ellie. The first part of the movie focused mostly on the relationship between sisters Kate (Orla Brady), the owner of a rural home for seniors, and young, rebellious Ellie (Hayley Atwell). Kate has worked hard to establish her "home" as an efficient, reputable place for seniors to live. Ellie has lived in more of a free-spirited way.
While the sisters portray rather convincingly that they have a long-standing bond between them, naturally their opposite lifestyles and values lead to conflicts. Kate gives her sister a chance to earn some much needed income by working at the senior-living home, but they find themselves at odds about how some of the more difficult residents should be treated, especially the 4 surly characters played by Redgrave, Ackland, Fricker and Staunton, and that leads to some of the more humorous scenes in this steady paced movie.
Some viewers might consider the pace of the movie to be too slow, but I did not. Rather it seemed that the first part helped to establish the personas of the main characters and to prepare viewers for what was to come in the rest of the story. In all fairness, the film's pace seems to help better understand the natures of the characters, but I think that could have been done more quickly.
The rest of the movie had a decidedly more upbeat tone and pace to it and provided several light-hearted, humorous scenes. Viewers get to see and enjoy some of Ellie's better qualities as she establishes a very different atmosphere and relationship with the 4 troublesome residents entrusted to her care during a sudden, unexpected leave of absence by Kate during the Christmas holidays.
That being said I did think the movie would have been more enjoyable if a few things had been done differently by the director and/or screenwriter. Kate's sudden leave of absence seemed to have been treated almost superficially. It just seemed to lack emotional impact, especially on the more "conscientious" Kate. I do not consider this to be a serious "flaw". In fact, it might underscore the main emphasis of the story to be about Kate's and Ellie's differences and their decidedly different influence on the residents.
Ellie's decision to move on in her life and part company from Kate at the end of the story again seemed a bit too abrupt to me. Perhaps the writer and director preferred to emphasize Ellie as the free spirit who derives as much or more enjoyment from the "fruits" of spontaneity and forthrightness and to further differentiate her character from Kate's as the more staid and emotionally involved with her work and the residents of the home.
The only part of the story that seemed to add little to the story was the persistent emphasis on smoking dope -- not only by the rebellious Ellie but also as a way of her encouraging the seniors to ease their struggles with aging, alienation and even impending death. This aspect of the story did not lessen my overall enjoyment of the movie, but I regard it as a simplistic and frivolous dimension to these more existential life issues.
All in all, I give this production 3.5 stars out of 5."