Shirley Valentine is a British romantic comedy based on a one-woman stage play.
Both the play and the movie starred Pauline Collins as Shirley, an empty
nest woman in her late 40s who has essentially become a cook and maid for her husband. She feels that she
has lost her real self. She relates episodes from her school days, where she
was a rebel and jealous of the teacher's pet, and then sees the same woman
she was so jealous of getting out of a limo. She is green with
envy until she discovers that this woman is now a hooker, and always envied
When her girlfriend invites her to go to Greece for a two week vacation,
Shirley feels she can't get away until her husband forbids it. After several
other missteps, she ends up in a Greek Island where her feminist friend
meets a man Shirley calls "Walking Groin" and abandons her. Shirley loves
Greece, however, and has an affair with a pub owner. Has she found herself? Will she
return to Liverpool and her drab life with her drab husband? Is the pub
owner, played brilliantly by Tom Conti, her true love?
A brilliant script, great supporting players such as Joanna Lumley, and
the perfect lead (Pauline Collins), made for a very enjoyable watch.
Further, many men could stand this lesson in what a woman means when she
says she has "lost herself."
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to
explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by
our definition, a
C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs
and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:
A very good film. Roger Ebert's extremely low score was an aberration. A
complete box office failure prevented the film from garnering a B-, but you
might enjoy it even if you don't normally like granny flicks, romantic
comedies, or stage adaptations. Although women over 45 like it best, even
men rate it a respectable 7.1 at IMDb.