High Heels and Low Lifes (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

You guessed it - yet another offbeat gangster comedy from the U.K.

I have to warn you that it was written by the author of "Spiceworld" and directed by the director of "Bean", but it's not as bad as that would indicate.

It's not especially good or especially bad, but at least it has a different spin, focusing on some opportunistic bystanders rather than on the stock gangster characters.


female: there is a gratuitous scene with toplessness in a strip club, but no nudity from the principals

male: a very old British gangster steps out of his bath and shows an extraordinarily droopy butt

Minnie Driver and Mary McCormack star as an idealistic British nurse and a failed American actress in London. They get drunk one night after Driver breaks up with her boyfriend, and on their way home they accidentally stumble upon some information which enables them to identify some criminals whose identity baffles the cops.

When their attempt to share the information is rebuffed by a cynical policeman, they concoct an alternate plan to blackmail the criminals and share in the booty. Since the criminals are not very nice fellows, this leads the girls into some dangerous hijinks. Dangerous, but zany.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Making-of featurette

  • "Action Overload" fast paced montage set to music

  • Widescreen anamorphic format, 1.85

There are some funny moments when the girls bungle through the money drops and the rough stuff, and also when the American actress tries to learn English gangster slang. These devices allow the film to make fun of the men's club of British gangster films at the same time it tries to join that very club.

I thought it was a pleasant enough watch, with some excellent and imaginative outdoor shots of offbeat London locales, but it was like a richly-appointed version of a network TV movie of the week or one of those old "Carry On" films - a piece of fluff that will not prompt a race for the remote, but will also not cause you to recite your favorite lines with friends over dinner.

I will have forgotten it soon.

I'm already forgetting it as I write. 

Which movie am I reviewing again?

The Critics Vote

  • BBC 2/5

The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: it did virtually nothing ($226,000) in an American theatrical release on a fairly respectable 175 screens. That works out to $1300 per screen. Assuming an average of 10 days, three screenings per night, eight dollar per ticket, it played to an average of five people each performance. It did gross $1.3 million in the UK.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-.

Return to the Movie House home page