Related Articles: Movies, All

Calendar Girls

Inspired by real events, Calendar Girls is a humorous, uplifting film that entertains and inspires without becoming too sentimental for its own good. Helen Mirren and Julie Walters play longtime friends who are members of a staid women's club in a small English village. Tired of attending boring educational lectures, making jams, pressing flowers, and entering baking competitions, they yearn to do something original. After tragedy strikes close to home, they hatch a plan to raise money for the local hospital by creating a calendar of the group's middle-aged members performing their time-tested women's activities "Full Monty"-style. They enlist their friends to grace each of the months and, in the process, sell so many calendars that they raise more money than they ever imagined. They also achieve a level of celebrity that tests their close friendships. As feel-good movies go, Calendar Girls includes enough drama to keep things real but injects enough humor to prevent things from becoming too melodramatic. Despite the lack of opposition that the real calendar girls encountered from the women's group to authorize their project, the film creates suitable conflict to stimulate interest. Subplots involving marital strife and one son's difficulty accepting his mum's nudity seem forced; however, they don't derail the film. The story drags a bit near the end when the famous women land in Los Angeles for an extended publicity tour but overall the characters are just as engaging as the cinematography of the Yorkshire Dales is luscious. Calendar Girls is a great date movie. It's also one you can share with your mother.