Skip to main content

How About You (2007)

How About You. Feature film. (2007, 100 mins) IMDB

...Since the films is about English characters, there is lots of eccentricity...

A

quiet film with a small cast of eccentric characters. Although it's an Irish film, it's set in England and stars British actors including the famous and unstoppable Venessa Redgrave. Has she ever given a bad performance? And, how many actresses envy her career? I suspect there are a number of actresses who would love to have her longevity. In 1995 at the age of 58, she starred in the feature film A MONTH BY THE LAKE where she plays a love interest. How many actresses can say that? Not many.

But I should comment on this film.

The film opens with Bobby Darin singing HOW ABOUT YOU and it sets the tone. I know many classic songs whether sung by Armstrong, Fitzgerald, Cole, Sinatra, Crosby, Bennett, Krall and, unfortunately, a small canon by Darin, but this isn't one of them and it's completely different from Sinatra's version from the 1940s. This upbeat song invites you into this comedy and I loved it. Later we hear Fitzgerald sing HAVE YOURSELF A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and we want to listen to that voice. So clear. So strong. The third song has Nat King Cole sing LET THERE BE LOVE.

I mention these songs, not just because I like them, but because it's unusual for any film from Ireland or the UK to feature well-known American standards. It's partially a cultural issue, but it's also a money issue. I'm sure the producers had to pay some large dollars to get the rights to use these songs in the film.

Anyway, how about I mention the story. There is a narrative. Ellie is a wandering young woman who returns to her sister's home seeking support and shelter and reluctantly it's given, but since this isn't a typical home, the older sister runs a retirement home in a large old house, Ellie is given a uniform and vacuum cleaner and put to work. She reluctantly gives in. She cleans and cleans some more and gets to know some of the residents. All old. All a bit miserable and demanding and nearly impossible to deal with.

Act II is about an improbably scenario. It's Christmas and most of the staff and residents have gone away to be with family. This includes the older sister. Ellie is left behind to care for four residents who are a pain the in the butt. The arc of the story is how she gets them to lighten up, be less miserable etc. By the stories end, these five have come together as a new family. They cook a giant Christmas meal.

It's all a bit trite, and sentimental, too feel good for some, but it works for the most part. We do get to know them and want to watch them. There are even secrets revealed, regrets voiced and we wonder what other secrets, what other regrets there might be.

Posted 2009/02/13 at 16h54ET in Movie Commentary.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Day 5: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Monday, November 21st, 2016 No work on the novel on Day 4. Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 18:31—Office ... if I use Leänne instead of Leanne how will people react... Y esterday was Sunday and I took it off, plus I was dealing with some mental health issues. I know this story is something that is simply a matter of putting in the time to make it happen. I’m supposed to be working on it as much as I can but I haven’t been doing that. Two main reasons. It’s been a while since I’ve worked on a story. Then there’s the issues of my mental health. Things happen. I get down and it impacts on my writing. I might be using it as an excuse, but it’s clearly something I need to deal with. I have to find a schedule I can work with. Perhaps I need to put this first and cut out other things. Not sure but I will figure it out. A name for the hero came to me. For the moment going with Leanne or is it Leanna? Should be Le…

Writing a Novel: The Deep Blue Hold–Introduction

Thursday, March 9th, 2017 ... I fight my insecurities and doubts and I withdraw farther away from people and life ... I n November 2016 I started work on a new novel with the working title: The Deep Blue Cage. A few weeks after I started, I stopped. I was feeling too depressed about everything including the idea of writing a new novel. It happens to me at various times, with varying degrees, and it is debilitating. The ultimate issue was: Why bother? Why bother write another novel no one will read and no one will care about. I also found I was dreading the writing process more and more. It was painful to think about. I walked away and focused on other things. Or tried to. That didn’t work either. I felt trapped and unsure where I should head, what I should do. I even asked the big question, what the hell is life about anyway. There’s no one answer to this question despite the proclamations of some and because I believe I can think critically, can reason, I look at it from many a…

Day 6: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 20:44—Office ... Lost at sea, she's rescued by a ship and wished she had never set foot on it.... N othing new on this story. Nothing came to me while I was sleeping or when on my errands. I thought something would come about, but nope. So be it. I have two chapters written. Not sure if they are any good but they are there. And so Chp. 3 to write. And I don’t see the scene because I’m not sure what should happen. The question is what is the cliffhanger. Nope. 3 about her, not the ship and crew. And I’ve already written the last line of the chapter. She wakes up and feels immense pain. Not sure if I should mention blood in the water. This chapter or the following. So it’s early dawn or not quite sunrise. And she’s in the cockpit unconscious. But how do I write it from her POV if she’s out. Hmmm. I can do it but should I do it? And I don’t w…