Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

The romantic comedy genre has been cursed with some horrible entries for the last few years, as directors not only settle for cheap genre gimmicks, but also stereotypical characters that keep the flock happy as they dough out enough cash to justify the making of the next stinker.

Taking this into account, it should be obvious why I was so delighted by 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day', a fresh, but familiar approach to the genre that does not settle for vulgar or slapstick humour to entertain its viewer. Even though the film is extremely light and fluffy, it never descends to levels of extreme cheesiness or melodrama, as director Bharat Nalluri goes to considerable lengths to give the movie solid presentation values and a great sense of theatre (as if you were watching a play on broadway).

"An adept ensemble cast fills up the screen with over-the-top performances that complement the film's stage-like feel perfectly."

Special mention must be made of the movie's set pieces that truly make the pre-World War II backdrop come alive as the rich and famous of London try to divert their attention from the pending doom by rather focusing on their glamorous lifestyles. A light, but fitting soundtrack also contributes to the film's sense of immersion and thick sense of irony that doesn't let go till the end.

An adept ensemble cast fills up the screen with over-the-top performances that complement the film's stage-like feel perfectly. At the steer of things is Frances McDormand (Burn After Reading, Something's gotta give) as Miss Pettigrew, delivering her role with great confidence as she gets caught up in a world very new to her.

The majority of the ensemble cast do a fantastic jobs with their strong, vibrant performances, accentuating the film's stage-like persona beautifully. Special mention goes out to Amy Adams (Julie & Julia, Enchanted), Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) and the relatively unknown Tom Payne who deliver the most memorable performances amongst the very well-casted group of actors.

The premise of a Romantic comedy with an old styled flair comes together just great, as the underlying message of hope for a brighter tomorrow never overshadows the film's obvious focus on finding one's true love. This superficialness is however handled in a very stylish manner, as the movie is ever aware of it's true intentions, making the soppy ending that much more bearable.

Fans of period pieces with a twist will find a lot to enjoy. Those who like their rom-coms more traditional and formulaic might also however find this little gem refreshing.

Highlight: Miss Pettigrew is at first very reluctant to accept the facade she has set-up for herself, but she soon realizes that she will not have an opportunity like this ever again.

Miss Pettigrew is out of her league, or is she?
Rating: 4 Meerkat Tails