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"CALENDAR GIRLS"
(2003) (Helen Mirren, Julie Walters) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy/Drama: Hoping to raise money for a good cause, several middle-aged English women decide to pose in the nude for a charity calendar.
PLOT:
Chris Harper (HELEN MIRREN) and Annie Clarke (JULIE WALTERS) are best friends who live in a small village in the Yorkshire Dales. Chris' husband, Rod (CIARAN HINDS), runs a floral delivery business while their son, Jem (JOHN-PAUL MACLEOD), has a growing interest in both women and drugs.

The latter pales in comparison, however, to the fact that Annie's husband, John (JOHN ALDERTON), is dying from cancer. Following his death and the earlier weeks of sitting in the uncomfortable hospital waiting room, Chris and Annie decide that they should raise money for a comfortable couch and do so through their annual Women's Institute calendar sales.

This time, however, Chris has a radical idea. Rather than shots of flowers or other traditional subjects, she, Annie and others in their group will pose in the nude with various foreground objects in the shots blocking views of anything too explicit.

They eventually convince other women in the group, including Ruth (PENELOPE WILTON), Jesse (ANNETTE CROSBIE), Celia (CELIA IMRIE) and Cora (LINDA BASSETT), to join them, but their decision doesn't sit will with their group's prim leader, Marie (GERALDINE JAMES) or Ruth's husband, Eddie (GEORGE COSTIGAN).

Nevertheless, and with the aid of reluctant photographer Lawrence (PHILIP GLENISTER), the women do their shots, print the calendar and then deal with the unexpected repercussions that follow.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, the thought of potentially seeing a bunch of middle-aged women in the buff probably won't be terribly enticing to too many kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For nudity, some language and drug-related material.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HELEN MIRREN plays a middle-aged English woman who comes up with the idea of their group posing nude for a charity calendar. She must then deal with the various repercussions of their finished product, as well as her son wanting to experiment with drugs.
  • JULIE WALTERS plays her best friend who goes along with the calendar idea following the death of her husband to cancer.
  • JOHN ALDERTON plays her loving husband who dies from cancer.
  • PENELOPE WILTON plays one of the group members who poses for the calendar shoot, an act that doesn't sit well with her adulterous husband.
  • GEORGE COSTIGAN plays her adulterous husband.
  • CELIA IMRIE plays another group member who poses nude.
  • LINDA BASSETT plays the organist who does the same.
  • JOHN-PAUL MACLEOD plays Chris' son who looks at girlie magazines, drinks a bit and thinks he's smoking pot (when it's oregano instead).
  • CIARAN HINDS plays Chris' husband who supports her endeavor, but wonders how it will affect their family business and life.
  • ANNETTE CROSBIE plays another middle-aged group member who poses nude for the calendar.
  • PHILIP GLENISTER plays the reluctant and embarrassed photographer who takes the shots of the women for the calendar.
  • GERALDINE JAMES plays the prim leader of the women's group who doesn't approve of the calendar and initially tries to have it stopped.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this comedy/drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "s" word and some slang terms for breasts, while other expletives and colorful phrases also occur. Some non-explicit, sexually related language is also present.

    Various middle-aged women pose nude for a charity calendar where various foreground objects in the shots or the positioning of the model's bodies block explicit nudity (all of which is played for comedy rather than eroticism). That said, varying amounts of skin are seen in the shots and during the shoots, and one such woman's bare breasts are briefly seen live and then in a photo. More traditional posters of younger women in somewhat similar poses are also present.

    Some characters have bad attitudes, while others drink, a teen thinks he's smoking pot with his buddy (but we later learn it was oregano) and some drug references are made. Tense family material includes the death of a spouse (from cancer), a cheating husband and the above teen's interest in drugs and reaction to his mother's nude calendar work.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Chris says that if more people did ladies meetings like theirs, there'd be no need for hallucinogenic drugs.
  • A man pours himself a drink when he gets home.
  • A hospital worker, Lawrence, rolls what could be a joint (although it could be a cigarette). We later see him with another and a bit later, we see him light up whatever it is.
  • The leader of the group brings up bad ideas that Chris has had in the past, such as vodka tasting night.
  • The women have wine.
  • Three of the husbands have beer. We then see several quick shots of them and then more husbands joining them and having beer.
  • Ruth guzzles wine before her photo shoot.
  • The ladies have wine.
  • The ladies get a beer sponsor for their calendar.
  • Miscellaneous people have beer.
  • Miscellaneous people have wine.
  • Jem and his friend share wine from a bottle.
  • Jem and his friend share what they think is a joint and are arrested. We later, hear, however, that they were unwittingly smoking oregano.
  • Chris is relieved that Jem wasn't smoking pot, but Annie reminds her that he thought he was and should find out why.
  • Some of the women have champagne in a limo.
  • Annie is told she has a full bar in her hotel room, but we don't se it.
  • Annie, Chris and others have drinks poolside.
  • While on his show, Jay Leno asks the women if they got drunk before doing the photo shoot.
  • The ladies have drinks while watching themselves on a previously recorded TV show.
  • Chris asks her husband how their son is. He jokingly responds that he made a quiche on Tuesday and has been stoned ever since (in reference to the above oregano incident).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Chris somewhat lets the new fame go to her head.
  • Chris enters a store bought cake into a contest.
  • Some young female store employees laugh at the photos of Chris and her nude friends (that we don't initially see).
  • Ruth's husband states he's leaving for a week on business, but we later learn that he's having an affair. Later, Ruth confronts her husband's lover who states he told her that Ruth was dead.
  • A man appears to be a peeping Tom who's watching the photo shoot (but he may later turn out to be a reporter).
  • Marie reports the women's calendar to the national chairwoman of their Women's group.
  • Eddie, Ruth's husband is mad at her for posing for such photos and storms out (when she had one as a gift for him).
  • A tabloid reporter doesn't state who he is when getting a story on Chris' husband.
  • A TV director wants the ladies to do an ad for him in the nude (during which they're supposed to stand nude behind some cut-outs of clothing, including a bikini).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None, but a starter's pistol is fired at the beginning of a contest.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*tty," "What the hell am I going to speak about?" "Bloody," "Screwed up," "Bloke," "Boring old farts," "Bastard," "Slag," "Sod it," "Tart" and "(What the) Bloody hell."
  • The women decide to pose nude for a calendar (for charity).
  • An older woman has a tattoo while a band member has numerous tattoos on his body.
  • Various older women remove their bras from beneath their tops in public (to avoid strap marks for the photos), but no nudity is seen.
  • A man appears to be a peeping Tom who's watching the photo shoot (but he may later turn out to be a reporter).
  • Jem is embarrassed by his mother's photos and throws newspapers (from his route) off a cliff.
  • One of the women stands up through the sunroof in a moving limo.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "s" word, 1 slang terms for sex ("it"), 6 slang terms for breasts ("t*ts" and "bazookas"), a possible but not clearly heard slang term for male genitals, 5 hells, 4 uses of "Oh my God," 3 of "For God's sakes," 2 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "God," "Good Lord" and "Oh Lord."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A poster in boy's room shows a woman's cleavage.
  • Chris finds a magazine in her son's room that has words, such as "Bazooka" over photos of women's bare breasts (no nipples are seen).
  • When John jokingly asks if he should be a model for a calendar, Chris jokingly states that she's seen his backside and it's not like George Clooney's.
  • We see a poster of a topless woman holding a large wrench across her otherwise bare breasts. Another shows a woman from the side whose long hair is covering some of her otherwise bare breasts.
  • Jem and another boy talk about a girl, saying that she has "the most fantastic t*ts." They then compare them to mangos, big ripe plums and then balloons. One then tells the other to stop talking about "t*ts," prompting the other to ask why he'd want to do that.
  • We see another poster that shows a woman in a thong bottom from the side, thus we see the side of her bare butt and mostly covered bare breasts.
  • There's talk of a mother finding a rubber something (possibly referring to a condom).
  • Chris decides to demonstrate what the ladies will be doing and thus stands nude behind a fruit display (that blocks her nudity). She asks if anyone can see her nipples, which is just when Jem and his friend come in and see her. We then see two quick views of her bare breasts (all played for laughs). We then see her in her bra.
  • We see a photo that shows a topless Chris (bare breasts).
  • An older woman comments that one part of her body is for her man, but we then hear she's not referring to her husband.
  • A photographer shows a sketch of what the calendar shots will look like and we see a drawing of women where the explicit nudity is blocked by objects in the foreground.
  • Jem walks in on Chris in her bra and then quickly leaves.
  • We see two pastries with cherries on top of them as part of the foreground for the nude photo shoot (to represent breasts and nipples).
  • A woman comments that nudity in her marriage was approached on a need to know basis.
  • When a large-busted woman is up for her shot, a comment is made to the photographer that they're going to need larger buns (for use in the foreground of the shot to block a view of her breasts). We then see her behind the display and can see the shape of her breasts. We then see other shots of the women modeling and all are nude, but we don't see anything explicit. Various amounts of non-explicit skin (top of breasts, side of hip, etc.), however, are seen.
  • One model sits nude at the piano and we see the top of her bare butt and partial side of her bare breast.
  • The women do a group Christmas shot with items again blocking their nudity, but we may briefly see a woman's full bare breasts.
  • Chris makes a sarcastic comment about what the local press would cover and makes up a fake headline about a person who's grown a U-shaped something (we couldn't catch the word but it's possible it's a slang term for penis).
  • The ladies receive a letter from a female inmate who's happy with the calendar and "Impressed by the sheer size of your..." (but we don't hear anymore of that).
  • Talking to a stranger about the impact of the calendar, Chris' husband states that Frank's wife barely undresses in front of Frank, "but now..." (implying there's more) and then comments on the lack of effects in his bedroom.
  • Annie tells Chris that they can cope without her, and that they're big girls, "Particularly Celia" (jokingly referring to her chest size).
  • A newspaper article states "No sex for Mr. January" and "I haven't had it in weeks" (referring to Chris' husband).
  • We see some of the women in their bras, garters and the like as they get dressed.
  • We briefly see a miscellaneous young woman in a bikini.
  • SMOKING
  • A man briefly smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We learn that Annie's husband is terminally ill. She must deal with that and then his death from cancer. There's a brief funeral scene and she later states that she'd drop every cent for one more hour with her late husband.
  • Ruth's husband is mad at her for posing for such photos and storms out (when she had one as a gift for him).
  • Chris' husband is a bit miffed about her sudden busyness and asks whether their family business is important.
  • Jem isn't pleased with his mother's involvement with the calendar.
  • Ruth confronts her husband's lover who states he told her that Ruth was dead.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The true story on which this film is based.
  • Nudity vs. nakedness.
  • What constitutes art when it comes to nudity.
  • Cancer.
  • VIOLENCE
  • None.



  • Reviewed November 20, 2003 / Posted December 19, 2003

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