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High Heels and Low Lifes
High Heels and Low Lifes
Actors: Kevin McNally, Minnie Driver, Mary McCormack, Mark Williams, Danny Dyer
Director: Mel Smith
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
R     2002     1hr 26min

Minnie Driver (GOOD WILL HUNTING) and Mary McCormack (GUN SHY) star as best friends who take on low-live thieves in this hilarious high-energy action-comedy. It all starts when Shannon (Drier), a nurse at a London emergenc...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kevin McNally, Minnie Driver, Mary McCormack, Mark Williams, Danny Dyer
Director: Mel Smith
Creators: Darren Boyd, Barnaby Thompson, Kim Fuller, Nicky Kentish Barnes, Uri Fruchtmann, Georgia Pritchett
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, British, Drama
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/09/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 26min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Guys can watch this too, good British humour!
S. Lyman | Northfield, MN | 04/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"My husband was turned off from watching this by the cover alone thinking it was a "chick flic". Well I can honestly say he loved it as much as I did (yes I spelt humour the English way before you ask).
Being British myself I love our sense of humour and that we do not take ourselves too seriously and this is exactly what this film did. It is there for entertainment purposes only (not to give you a lesson on life which too many films do these days) and it was a truly funny film from start to finish.
It doesn't go on forever either, meaning if like me, you like to watch more than one movie in a night you can.
Watch it for yourself, I hope you will be pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it is!"
You're just going to pay? Have you gone completely Tonto?
A. Gyurisin | Wet, Wild, Wonderful Virginia | 11/10/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"It is not often that I use this word in film reviews, but High Heels and Low Lifes was a very cute movie. While it did follow a very formulaic caper approach, there were elements that were very original and stood out in this film. It had a crisp semi-humorous story coupled with two actresses that were very into their roles. There were some dark elements that I was not expecting when they were dealing with the gangsters that kept my attention until the very end. This was one of those films where you knew exactly how it was going to end, but you still had fun watching your characters get there. This film was a no-brainer, but in a good sense. If you are looking for a fun, caper film that takes no energy to watch than this is the film for you. That is exactly what I was looking for when I watched this film, and it worked perfectly. Let me tell you why.

My biggest satisfaction from this film came from the very unrealistic portrayal of London's dark underbelly. It begins with a very sinister retrospect on the crime in this populated city with images of hardcore robbers doing what they do best. That is the last glimpse we have of that world because by the end of the film the darkness sheds to light and we are handed a fantasy world all our own. The bad guys go from their darkened world and into mansions full of color, ambition, and cartoon blunders. It is this sense of unreality that kept me focused on this film. Here we have two women that are having this "movie" adventure while hiding in bushes, wearing dark sunglasses, and fighting with guys in the cow pastures, yet on the other hand we have these criminals that truly want to kill them. There are huge guns fired, people get shot, and there are even some literal explosions. It reminded me of when Elmer Fudd was hunting for Bugs Bunny. There is some horror to the realization that Fudd only wants to "kill the rabbit", but there is humor in the unrealistic events that occur due to Bugs' outlandish style and Fudd's ignorance. So, when you look at the cover of this film, do not be fooled. What I am trying to say here is that the unreal story is what kept my attention. I don't know if the writers wanted to create a real world with these heroes, but in my eyes they didn't. This was a fictional story, and I couldn't see this happening in real life ... and that worked for me.

I must say that Minnie Driver and Mary McCormack are not at the top of Hollywood players list, but they seemed to carry themselves well in this picture. I think the reason that they worked was because it was a small film. Driver and McCormack do better in these small budgeted films than they do in the blockbusters. I don't think I have ever seen a big-budget Minnie Driver film that I would say was "amazing", and the same goes for McCormack. High Heels and Low Lifes is their type of film. Thankfully, director Mel Smith knows that and knew what he had to work with. He keeps the tone low on this film, making the humor not laugh-out-loud, but grinable. There wasn't really anything spectacular about the direction of this film, and that was perfect for this film. At times directors of these smaller films try to reach out and become to artsy with their craft, this was not the case here. Smith stayed on the path of this film and worked his magic with the greatest of ease. He was not trying to go over the top, but yet successfully kept this film from sinking.

Overall, this was a "cute" film. I will use that word again because I cannot think of a better way to describe this simple film. It was easy on the eyes and on the mind, and if you are in the mood for that style of film than High Heel and Low Lifes will provide it. Minnie Driver and Mary McCormack play off each other exceptionally well while Mel Smith eases behind the camera. There is nothing spectacular about this film. I probably will never see it again, but it was worth watching once. It is always good to have these types of films around. Those that do not try to go overboard, yet give you exactly what you went in looking for. I was impressed.

Grade: *** out of *****"
Who says movies need to be realistic?
T. Smith | Boulder, CO United States | 12/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Many of the other reviews have criticized this movie for being unrealistic, but cripes, it's a comedy, it's not supposed to be a documentary! Anyway, this is a great movie for cheering yourself up when you are sick, or watching with your best friend. This is for all intents and purposes, a buddy movie for girls. Are any of the Lethal Weapons plausible? No, but that's what makes them fun. I thought I'd add my two cents since all the reviews I saw were from guys. My girlfriends and I laughed our asses off. And that's what a good comedy is for."
Engaging Performances by Driver and McCormack
Reviewer | 07/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A lot of movies are made that have little significance or substance, but are "just for fun," and wind up being forgettable, in general, as they are made with an eye on box office or projected video receipts, rather than on creating a film that is not only just for fun, but at the same time, worthwhile and enduring. Happily, "High Heels and Low Lifes," directed by Mel Smith, is one of those rare gems of a little, just-for-fun movie that succeeds in being exactly what it was meant to be: Highly entertaining, and most importantly, fun-- and in a way that's not only memorable, but quite accessible and one that lends itself to multiple viewings, primarily because of it's stars, Minnie Driver and Mary McCormack, who make one of the most winsome and engaging teams to come along in quite some time. After a fight with her boyfriend, nurse Shannon (Driver) is left to celebrate her birthday with her best friend, Frances (McCormack), an aspiring actress. Departing as he did in a hurry, Shannon's boyfriend leaves behind his recording equipment and the scanners that enable him to pick up telephone conversations he can record and use to create a kind of urban, new age music. And after a bit too much to drink, the girls start to fool around with the scanner, and happen across a phone conversation between a gang of crooks committing a robbery.Driven to action by purely altruistic intentions (of course), the girls realize this is a chance to pick up a big chunk of change real quick, and they decide to contact and "negotiate" with the thieves for a part of the take. The girls tell them to cough up or they'll go to the police. Big mistake, as they have no idea who they're dealing with, or how big (and bad) the organization behind them really is. But Shannon and Frances are about to find out, and before it's all over, they just may wish they'd never heard of a "scanner," or for that matter, a telephone. Then again, maybe not...Mel Smith succeeds in crafting and delivering a high-energy, often hilarious romp through London and the surrounding environs, as he puts his stars through their paces in a way that generates plenty of laughs and makes his audience glad they came along for the ride. Smith sets a perfect pace that makes this a lively comedy, enriched by witty dialogue, wry British humor and the iridescent performances of Driver and McCormack, all of which makes this film more reminiscent of such fare as Michael Caine's "The Italian Job," or any of the early Peter Sellers movies, rather than the more contemporary Farrelly Brothers/"American Pie" type humor that is so prevalent today. And, as such, it is refreshingly fun AND funny, and leaves you yearning for more of the same.Since her auspicious motion picture debut as Benny in the heartwarming "Circle of Friends" in 1995, Driver has successfully filled her resume with films that run the gamut from black comedy (As Debi, "Grosse Pointe Blank") and straight drama (Rosie, "The Governess") to action (Karen, "Hard Rain"). Not all of her projects have been a success critically and/or at the box office, perhaps, but one would be hard-put to find a single performance of hers among them that is not engaging and credible. She's demonstrated time and again that she can hold her own with the big boys in the high profile films (alongside De Niro in "Sleepers," Damon and Affleck in "Good Will Hunting"), and one of her most memorable performances is in what is arguably one of the best romantic comedies of all time, "Return To Me," in which she plays Grace. All in all, in a comparatively short time, Driver has accrued some impressive credentials, and she never fails to live up to her promise-- and her portrayal of Shannon in this film is no exception. Using to great effect her quirky good looks and winning personality, combined with a discernible intelligence that points up a beauty that is much more than skin deep, here as always, she is a delight to watch.Perfectly cast, as well, is Mary McCormack, as she succeeds in capturing the very essence of Frances, while proving to be a perfect complement to Driver's Shannon. McCormack has that same kind of well-rounded beauty as Driver, which indicates there's always something going on behind the eyes, and cinematically speaking, as a team it makes them a force to be reckoned with. Most importantly, McCormack brings Frances vividly and enthusiastically to life, and it goes far toward enabling the viewer to suspend disbelief long enough to just go with the flow and enjoy the high jinks of these two young ladies as they cut their swath across the English countryside.In a terrific supporting role, Michael Gambon, as Kerrigan, is wonderfully droll, espousing that oh-so-wry-and-dry British humor in a manner reminiscent and worthy of Noel Coward at his best. Indeed, Gambon has some of the funniest lines, delivered so subtly as to evoke purely spontaneous bursts of side-splitting laughter from the audience. And when an actor can do that, he has without question succeeded in doing his job; which is exactly what Gambon has accomplished here.The supporting cast includes Kevin McNally (Mason), Mark Williams (Tremaine), Danny Dyer (Danny), Darren Boyd (Ray), Simon Scardifield (Tony) and Len Collin (Barry). By definition, a comedy is a "movie (or play) of light and humorous character with a happy or cheerful ending." Therefore-- by definition-- "High Heels and Low Lifes" is a "comedy" in every sense of the word. Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable, it's a film that makes a promise for a good time to be had by all, then goes on to fulfill that promise. The magic is alive and well in this one, and that's the magic of the movies."