Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom/USA, 1989. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Willy Russell, based on his play. Cinematography by Alan Hume. Produced by Lewis Gilbert. Music by Willy Russell. Production Design by John Stoll. Costume Design by Candy Paterson. Film Editing by Lesley Walker. Academy Awards 1989. Golden Globe Awards 1989.
Shirley Valentine (Pauline Collins) is a bored British housewife whose husband has the excitement level of an evening breeze. Instead of waiting for him to recognize the adventurer in her, she goes ahead and plans her own trip to Greece, where she hopes to find a new lease on life. “I’m going to Greece for the sex: sex for breakfast, sex for dinner, sex for tea and sex for supper…It’s called the F plan!” What she finds is the majestic beauty of the Greek islands and the friendship of a very zesty local dweller (Tom Conti). Based on the play, which was originally a one-woman monologue, the story has been opened up to include other actors without sacrificing the personal nature of the experience. Collins is witty and wise, beautifully fleshing out the character as a humorous and vulnerable woman, and the story is very enjoyable.