Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Movie Log: Saving Grace

Craig Ferguson, before he became a big-time late-night TV-show dude, did a lot of different acting/comedy things, and one of them was writing Saving Grace for himself.

Brenda Blethyn is ostensibly the center of the movie, as the titular Grace, a middle-aged English woman who discovered that her well-off husband was actually desperately far in debt, and that he probably killed himself rather than be found out. But Ferguson, as her gardener Matthew, is the one who knows how to do everything, who has the main love interest (pregnant commercial fisherwoman Nicky, played by Valerie Edmond), and whom Grace's teary speech at the very end is directed to.

When you write the script yourself, you can make sure stuff like that happens; I highly recommend it to all film actors.

Anyway, Grace discovers that she's broke and worse than broke -- her stately home is mortgaged to the hilt and the bill is coming due. She has no marketable skills, and just selling the thing and settling somewhere cheaper doesn't seem to be an option. (It rarely is, in movies, where any half-decent house will be fought over to the point of death; no one just moves in a movie.)

But, soon, a solution presents itself: Grace will use her greenhouse, and her noted skills at getting plants to grow, to raise a quick, high-grade crop of marijuana, which will then be sold to solve both her and Matthew's money problems. It's a badly-thought-out scheme, as befits a pot comedy, but it doesn't fall apart in any of the ways it should have.

Saving Grace also has a village full of eccentrics -- how could it not? -- and the requisite ending that is both happy and oddly moralistic, up until the point where it isn't. It isn't quite as shambolic as the stereotypical pot comedy, but it definitely does not have a tight, intricate script. It's pleasant and mostly funny, but Ferguson didn't miss out on any massive career as a matinee idol on the evidence here.

1 comment:

Adele said...

i loved this film!! the book is equally entertaining.

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