[Screen It]

 

"CAREER GIRLS"
(1997) (Katrin Cartlidge, Lynda Steadman) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate None Mild None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Moderate Mild Minor None


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Two women meet for the first time since last seeing each other in college and recall their experiences while there.
PLOT:
It's been six years since former college roommates Hannah (KATRIN CARTLIDGE) and Annie (LYNDA STEADMAN) have seen each other when Annie comes to visit her friend in London. Catching up with the latest news, the two women also recall their many memories from the 1980's when Hannah was a straightforward and sharp-tongued, in your face student, while Annie was a shy young lady with nervous ticks and a chronic skin condition on her face. As the women go out looking for a new home for Hannah, they run into Adrian (JOE TUCKER), a realtor and former classmate who had romantic encounters with both women in college but doesn't remember them now. They also recall and then meet another man, Ricky (MARK BENTON), a self-proclaimed idiot savant who's still waiting for the savant part of him to surface, and who developed an attraction to Annie. As the women ponder these memories, they also reestablish their friendship.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids won't, but teens who like "art house" films, such as "Secrets & Lies," just might want to see this film.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and some sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • KATRIN CARTLIDGE plays a bitter, abrasive college student, who smokes some pot, and sleeps with a guy she met at a party. As an adult she's an okay role model.
  • LYNDA STEADMAN plays a shy college student with many nervous ticks who feels self- conscious about her facial skin condition. She also smokes some pot and regular cigarettes, but as an adult is also an okay role model.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6.5 out of 10
    Directed by Mike Leigh who brought us last year's Oscar nominated "Secrets & Lies," this film is strongly reminiscent of that one in style. Focusing heavily on character and dialogue instead of plot, the film will delight some audience members while completely boring others. The performances are first-rate with Cartlidge delivering a fine comic, and often manic performance. First seen in another Leigh film, "Naked" and then in last year's "Breaking the Waves," she seems destined for a stream of good character-driven roles. Steadman, in her first big screen role, also proves to be a credible actress and makes you feel for her shy, introverted character that's then equally balanced by her well-adjusted adult self. As with many Leigh films, the characters need to be incredibly strong to carry the production that precariously hangs onto a paper thin plot, and in this case it works. I personally liked this film better than "Secrets & Lies" not only because it's not as depressing, but because the characters are more interesting and quirky. Strong performances are one thing, but if the characters don't stand out, the film's they inhabit usually begin to drag and that's how I felt about "Secrets." Additionally, in this film Leigh moves the camera with his characters, something he didn't do very much in "Secrets" that only added to that film's static feel. Here, that movement, the fresh characters, and the jumping back and forth from time period to time period make this an interesting film to watch. Some viewers, however, might find the film to be completely boring and at times ludicrous, especially when the women run into so many former classmates. London's no small city, and while the characters do comment on the astronomical odds of bumping into old friends -- particularly at the same time -- that doesn't dispel the illogical way it's presented. A reunion of sorts or having them actively looking for these people would have made more sense. Of course that's being picky, but when working with so little of a plot, one should make sure it's as rock solid as possible. Sure to please audiences who like strong characters and films filled with no violence or action, "Career Girls" will be a big hit among art house crowds, but will probably not cross over to the mainstream. We give this film a 6.5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Profanity, brief drug use, and one sex scene will concern most parents although few, if any, younger children will want to see this film. Some teens might want to see it, however, and the film's scenes of college life may make them wonder if that's what it's really like. 30+ "f" words are heard throughout the production along with some sexual discussion, and there's one brief sex scene where Hannah's bare breasts are exposed. While in college the girls smoke some pot, drink some, and Annie smokes despite having asthma. Beyond some mild bits of bad attitude, the rest of the categories have little or no objectionable material.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Hannah, Annie, and another roommate smoke and share a joint while in college. Later as an adult, Hannah comments that she smoked "a lot of dope" while there (but we don't see any more).
  • As adults, Hannah and Annie drink wine with dinner, and Hannah suggests that they "get pissed" (drunk). In another scene they again have wine with dinner.
  • Hannah talks about her mother being an alcoholic.
  • Hannah, Annie and Ricky drink beer in a college pub. Later, they're all somewhat drunk.
  • A guy trying to sell his "flat" to Hannah offers her and Annie some champagne, but they refuse.
  • Students drink at a party.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Hannah (as a college student) has a rather abrasive and sharp tongued in your face personality. After first seeing Annie's skin condition, she tells her that she looks like she had a bad run-in with a cheese grater. She also apologizes to Ricky, who's asleep, and calls him "fatso."
  • Adrian doesn't remember either of the women despite the fact that he had romantic flings with both of them.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "D*ckhead," "Bitch," "Pissing," "Pissed" (drunk), "Shut up," "Fatso," "Bastard," and "Lesbos."
  • Hannah gives their other roommate "the finger" and the universal sign for "f' you."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 31 "f" words (4 used sexually), 5 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals (the "d" word), 4 craps, 2 hells, 1 ass and 2 uses of "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Both Hannah and Annie ask the question of when they'll next have sex to a copy of "Wuthering Heights" that they use as a fortune teller. Hannah then looks up Annie's answer and gets the word "come" and says that at least Annie's next man will know what to do with his index finger.
  • The women, as adults, go together to look for a "flat" for Hannah to purchase and twice the men selling them ask if the women are lesbians. In one of the homes, a painting of a nude woman on the wall shows bare breasts and pubic hair, and this same man has an apron on the wall that has molded bare breasts protruding from it.
  • Hannah meets Adrian at a college party. Trying to get him away from her, she tells him that she's got a venereal disease, but he asks if he'd catch it he had sex with her. Later, they're seen in bed together (she in bra and underwear) and then she's seen on top of him, and we see her bare breasts.
  • In college, Annie tells of her sexual fantasy where she's forced to have sex with a man while other men watch (that's as graphic as it gets).
  • Telling Annie that he's not interested in commitments (in college), Adrian compares them to a vagina. He says that it's a nice place to visit, but that he wouldn't want to live there.
  • SMOKING
  • Annie smokes both as a college student and an adult, despite the fact that she has asthma.
  • Ricky smokes in a few scenes.
  • A man trying to sell his "flat" to Hannah smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Hannah talks about her mother being an alcoholic and that she depends too much on Hannah.
  • Hannah mentions that her father left home when she was eight, and Annie says the same thing happened in her family.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Keeping in touch with old friends.
  • The strange, manic behavior of Hannah, and the shy, rash-building introversion of Annie and how the women grew out of that as adults.
  • VIOLENCE
  • None.



  • Reviewed August 16, 1997

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.