Colin Firth (BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (LIMBO), and Malcolm McDowell (MR. MAGOO) star in this delightfully charming comedy about the fun and awkwardness of growing up! Young Fraser Pettigrew has a... more »lways been an adventurous child. But with the arrival of his sexy French aunt Heloise (Irene Jacob -- U.S. MARSHALS), Fraser enters a truly eye-opening summer of discovery as he learns some delicious truths about adulthood and the comic eccentricities of his loving family! Also featuring Rosemary Harris (HAMLET), the great ensemble cast lights up the screen. Come join the Pettigrews as their lives are forever changed in one unforgettable season!« less
Lorraine S. (rainey) from WOODLAND HLS, CA Reviewed on 11/15/2007...
Loved this little and endearing movie. It's a memoire of a child coming of age in the early part of the 1900s on an large estate in Scotland with his family who are equal parts staunch and upright and eccentric and playful.
The performances are warm and captivating. Robbie Norman is exceptional in the role of Fraiser and Colin Firth, as always is charming.
Colin Firth Scores Again--What Acting Range!
carol irvin | United States | 12/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a coming of age story but unusually about BOTH a father and son who mature during the course of the film. The father, played by Colin Firth, does mature in the last few minutes of the film, without uttering a word, and it is one of the most powerful sequences I've ever seen on film. The film alternates between showing Firth as an utterly delightful father figure, because he is a complete eccentric, and as someone who needs to grow up and accept his responsibilities. At the start of the film, he is almost more his children's boon companion than their father whereas, by the end, he is most definitely a father. The film is told from the point-of-view of his young son and we meet quite a cast of characters, all living on an estate that is owned by the matriarch of the family. Who will be able to remain at this estate depends upon whom she leaves it to in her will. Malcolm McDowell, her grasping other son, wants it for himself and to throw the others out. This is a film the whole family can enjoy. If you are expecting to see Mr. Darcy though in this film, from Firth's portrayal of him in "Pride and Prejudice," you will be disappointed. Firth plays a very different kind of man in this film and does so beautifully."
Entertaining - Just What I Wanted
BeachReader | Delaware | 01/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes all that I expect from a movie is to be entertained--- and this film fit the bill. "My Life So Far" was a charming movie and a delightful look inside a family living a somewhat odd life on an estate in Scotland in the 1920s. We see the action of the movie through the eyes of the 10 year-old Fraser and via someone who is observing what is occurring. The household consists of the family, including Fraser's grandmother who owns the estate, many servants, and frequent visitors.The movie is more a series of vignettes/memories of the Pettigrew family and its more pronounced quirks. Fraser's father Edward, played brilliantly by Colin Firth, is an oddball inventor who runs the Pettigrew Sphagnum Moss Factory - the only one in the world. His two loves are the Bible and Beethoven. His brother, Uncle Morris, visits infrequently but when he does, it can be disruptive, especially when he appears with his very young fiancee, Heloise, with whom all the males become enamoured.This was based on a true story - taken from the memoirs of the former director of the Royal Opera House. I wish I had known this in advance.I cannot finish without commenting on the gorgeous scenery, on the ground and from the air, conveniently shown when one of the many visitors is a colorful and legendary pilot.The final scene of Fraser, sitting in his father's office, listening to jazz, smoking a cigar and drinking milk from a wine glass while looking at forbidden photos was such a hoot! It will linger in my memory for a long time...priceless!"
Good story marred by useless subplots
flickjunkie | 04/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film had great potential, but it was too ambitious and tried to be too inclusive in telling the story. There are really two main story lines here: (1)Young Fraser's (Robbie Norman) coming of age and (2) His father Edward's (Colin Firth) misadventures.Fraser's story (which the title implies is the point of the film) is fabulous. It is a whimsical and witty look at the coming of age of a ten year old boy in 1920's Scotland. He learns about sex by furtively studying his grandfather's books and pictures of unclad women. Put in the context of a completely naive ten year old mind, he develops some funny interpretations of the subject that are routinely and innocently blurted out in the presence of adults, usually to the mortification of his parents. This was a wonderful story and his journey to manhood should have been the subject of the entire movie.The second story line was dull, and encumbered the film. This is the story of Fraser's father Edward. It centers around two key subplots. The first is his kooky childlike lifestyle, including crazy inventions and ineffective businesses. The second is his obsession with his Uncle Morris's (Malcolm McDowell) fiancée. Other subplots in this story line include a rivalry between Edward and Morris for the inheritance of the castle. This overly dramatic subplot bogs down the film and ruins the comedic and mirthful elements provided in Fraser's story.The cinematography was splendid, helped greatly by the beauty of the Scottish countryside and the magnificence of the Castle the family called home. Fortunately, there was a character with an airplane that gave director Hugh Hudson a convenient excuse to show aerial views of the castle and the countryside which were simply breathtaking. The photography in this film is reason enough to see it.The acting was excellent. Though I wish the character had less emphasis, Colin Firth was excellent as Edward, the quirky father figure. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio gave a fine performance in a minor role as Moira, Edward's wife and the mother of his ten children. Once again, she had an opportunity to showcase her beautiful singing voice (see "Limbo" if you want to really hear her sing). Malcolm McDowell and Irene Jacob were also excellent as the uncle and aunt.The best performance by far was that of Robbie Norman as young Fraser. He was full of innocent mischief and gave a convincing portrayal of the curiosity and nescience of youth.I gave this film a 7/10. If you enjoy interesting character studies, slice of life films, beautiful scenery and comedy spawned of innocence, you will love this film. Had they stayed with the main story line, I probably would have given it a 10."
An underrated film
H. Katz | 08/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie will appeal to anyone who enjoys watching movies about large sprawling families, oddball characters, and little slice-of-life episodes. It's the 1920s and Fraser Pettigrew is 10 years old. He lives with a swarm of siblings, a devoted mother, a kindly grandmother, and an eccentric father who invents odd gadgets and invests in strange things (such as sphagnum moss). Things get even more mixed-up when Fraser's uncle arrives. Not only does the uncle treat Fraser's father with a kind of affectionate contempt, he has brought along a much younger fiancee - a sweet and musical Frenchwoman. Fraser, who is becoming curious about sex, and is only just seeing that his father is not infallible, is shocked when he notices that his father pays a great deal of attention to his uncle's fiancee. A rift in the family looks imminent, particularly when Fraser's mother discovers that her husband desires another woman.
In all, My Life So Far is a sweet coming of age story with some troubling episodes, as when Fraser's father childishly competes with him for attention from the Frenchwoman (who, unlike in other movies, is not a home-wrecking siren, but is actually a good woman who is faithful to her fiance). The movie treats the complexities of family life and childhood with humor and care. The visuals are also beautiful - the Scottish countryside does not disappoint - and there are other scenes that linger in the mind (a tender dance in the rain, for example). Really, this is a great movie for a quiet evening at home, snuggled under blankets."
Entertaining story, lots of Firth!
Jenny | Chicago, IL USA | 06/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Set in the 1920s, this film is enjoyable and charming while also touching on some of the darker aspects of growing up. Told through the eyes of a young boy, the actions of the adults seem even sillier and more laughter-provoking. However, this is no straight comedy. It touches on themes of marital discord, puberty (never fun) and ultimately, the "meaning of life."
The scenery is beautiful and Colin Firth is gorgeous in an atypical role as an inventor. His character is not all sweetness and light and that makes him more interesting. Firth fans, please take note of the fact that he appears in almost every bit of the film. It's fun to see him in the role of an eccentric dad (although you know you're getting older when you lust after the actor in the film that plays the father!)
Great acting, charming story and ultimately an uplifting film."