Posted by: fudgie99 | October 28, 2009

A Village Affair

a village affair1I would have felt better about this movie if it was set in an earlier period, which it appeared to be at first. Small village, people with names like Lady Unwin and Cladagh, and interesting apparel choices made me think it took place anywhere from 1920’s-1960’s. Until the main character starts reading  A Prayer for Owen Meany in bed and I realized it was at least 1989.

Alice is in what everyone keeps calling a “postnatal depression”. She doesn’t want to paint anymore, doensn’t want to make love to her husband, or talk to her mother-in-law, who is a rich busy body gardener. She has just moved with her three young children to this little village.

Around the same time the rich and royal Unwins welcome back their prodigal daughter Clodagh from America. She’s the only one who looks dressed for 1989- short dyke haircut, nehru jackets, and too much blue eyeshadow. How anyone thought she was straight is beyond me. She’s also kind of a bitch- pushy, abrasive, and egotistical. She knows what she likes in women, though, and sets her sight on the pretty, femme-y,  Alice.

The only plausible way it seems possible these two end up together (and they do) is that Clodagh is so pushy. Some of her actions are endearing- she takes an interest in the children, helps around the house, etc, but it always seems like its a means to an end. Also, she’s a spoiled rich girl with no responsibilities, following her every whim and fancy, which is annoying (if a believable element).

To add some intrigue, in comes Alice’s brother-in-law, Anthony, who is also clearly smitten with her, and also a major boozey, live off his relatives asshole. Her husband is looking awful appealing right now- and I’m a lesbian for goodness sake. Anthony, of course, puts two and two together and announces that Alice and Clodagh are dykes to the village, thus causing a stir (but not before trying to get Alice to run away with him). Alice is shunned by many and her husband goes crazy.

 Alice stays remarkably calm. You get the sense that she does feel she’s a lesbian and there is some relief to the knowledge of her affair coming out. The incident also gives Clodagh an opportunity to come out to her parents, which goes over like a lead balloon. It seems clear her mother had an inkling and was trying to protect her father, but he gets angry and storms out of the room.

There is no real happy ending for anyone, unless you count Alice’s realization as a happy consequence of a messy affair. There are a few stolen kisses and one naked swimming makeout session that’s a little steamy throughout the movie. I guess I kept waiting for something more to happen. I wasn’t bored for the length of the film, I just wasn’t drawn into the story. Oh, and you can glimpse a young Keira Knightley as Alice’s daughter in the film.

2 stars-  no second date


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