Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 2002. Avery Pix. Screenplay by P.J. Hogan, Jocelyn Moorhouse. Cinematography by Remi Adefarasin. Produced by Jocelyn Moorhouse, David W. Zucker, Jerry Zucker. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by Richard Sylbert. Costume Design by Mary E. Vogt. Film Editing by Robert C. Jones.
Kathy Bates plays a contented housewife whose husband (Dan Aykroyd) surprises her with the news that he’s leaving her. He’s fallen into a rut, it seems, and he wants more danger and excitement in his life, something he can’t have with her. No sooner is he gone than her favourite, Elvis-like crooner (Jonathan Pryce) is murdered in her fair city of Chicago and Bates is devastated. Deciding to take off to England to attend Pryce’s funeral, she ends up making friends with his supremely repressed sisters (Lynn Redgrave and Stephanie Beacham among them) and, eventually, arriving at his home and meeting his valet (Rupert Everett). Imagine her surprise when it turns out that the valet is actually the deceased’s longtime companion, and imagine ours when they become friends who team up, along with Bates’s mouthy daughter-in-law, to solve Pryce’s murder. It’s one of the weirdest movies you’ll ever see, uneven in tone and completely unpredictable, but thanks to the actors is strangely enjoyable. It never makes a deep impression, but it’s quirky enough to amass something of a minor cult following in the years to come. Features a hilarious cameo by Julie Andrews, calming people down on a turbulent flight by singing “Getting To Know You.”