I must admit a dity little secret.
The main reason I saw Calendar Girls was in hopes of getting an eyeful of Helen Mirren. I know she's getting up there in age, but I still find her very sexy. So knowing all about the true story behind Calendar Girls, and knowing Ms. Mirren's lack of shyness in other films, I decided I'd see this one.
That being said, I knew full well that this wasn't Showgirls, so I knew it wouldn't be gratuitous. But I must admit that I was hoping for more than we got...
Anyway, Calendar Girls is indeed based on a true story of some British ladies who decide to raise money for a local hospital by posing nude in their yearly calendar. It was a big story in Europe, and filtered over here too. I've seen the real calendar, and it's really very tame. But I can understand the media craze it inspired.
Helen Mirren plays the sort of ringleader of the bunch of sweet, funny ladies. She does a really great job, and this is probably her most likable role ever. She tends to play tough women, or flat out bitches, like in the first film I ever noticed her in way back, Excalibur. She was stunning then, and like I said, she may be pushing Sixty, but she still has a certain something that's undeniable. Julie Walters is basically the second lead, the character whose husband basically inspires the whole thing. She is marvelous, and is completely unrecognizable from her popular role as the Weasley Matriarch in the Harry Potter flicks. Both these ladies give great performances, as do all of the ladies really. Jay Leno and inexplicably, the band Anthrax, have cameos as themselves. Anthrax and a bunch of older, proper British ladies...
This Could Work!
All in all I was kind of disappointed with Calendar Girls. I knew it was gonna be a feel good type chick-flick. But it wasn't feel good enough, you know? But it is sweet and funny and nicely done.