OUR LADIES (2019)
Starring Tallulah Greive, Abigail Lawrie, Rona Morison, Sally Messham, Marli Siu, Eve Austin, Kate Dickie, David Hayman, Chris Fulton, Jamie Quinn, Jack Greenlees, Stuart Martin, Myra McFanyen, Martin Quinn, James Rottger and Ross Anderson.
Screenplay by Alan Sharp and Michael Caton-Jones.
Directed by Michael Caton-Jones.
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. 106 minutes. Rated R.
It’s always interesting to see a teen “girl power” movie that was directed by an adult man, written by two men and based on a novel written by yet another man. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not so naïve as to think that teenaged girls can’t be just as sex-obsessed and perverted as the boys are. However, I spent a lot of time watching the coming-of-age drama Our Ladies wondering how realistic it really was – even for its era in the mid-1990s.
Which doesn’t mean that Our Ladies was not a fun movie to watch. It was actually quite enjoyable. I’m just not sure I totally bought into it. Still, perhaps Rotten Tomatoes puts it best in their description of the film: “Despite its outdated ideas about teen sexuality, Our Ladies presents a well-acted and affectingly nuanced portrait of female friendship.”
That it does.
Our Ladies was based on the 1998 novel The Sopranos by Alan Warner about six small-town Scottish schoolgirls in a Catholic school choir who take a field trip to the city of Edinburgh. They are in the city to perform a concert, but the girls see it as an excuse for them to get drunk, buy sexy boots, get laid and just act wildly while away from home. (Not surprisingly, the filmmakers changed the title for the film version since the book name was quickly usurped by another pop culture phenomenon with the same title the year after the novel was released.)
Speaking of cultural phenomena, some of the parts of Our Ladies feel rather awkward in the post-#MeToo world. It feels a bit like an artifact of the 1990s – and even in those wilder days it would have been rather outrageous. However, it does capture the effervescence and recklessness of youth in an infectious way that makes it mostly go down easy.
The six girls are as much types as they are characters, but they get the points across. Manda (Sally Messham) and Finnoula (Abigail Lawrie) are the leaders. Manda is a bit of a bully and a blowhard, but she loves her friends. Finnoula is always down for a bit of trouble, but she has been having trouble dealing with the recent death of her father, and she is starting to question her sexuality.
Kylah (Marli Siu) is the pretty, cool chick, doing Buzzcocks covers with a local band and freely shagging all the band members. Kay (Eve Austin) is a bit of an outcast with this group, the pretty rich girl who ends up being okay and having a connection with Finnoula. Then there is Orla (Tallulah Greive), who has recently survived leukemia and now is desperate to lose her virginity.
Our Ladies followed the young ladies through bars and parties, jail and older men’s apartments – cursing like sailors, getting drunk until they puke and hitting on every guy they see. The men in Our Ladies are pretty interchangeable; vain, snippy, sex-crazed and mostly way too old for these girls.
It makes for a wild day (and night). Our Ladies is a bit of a relic from a time that is long past, but the primary purpose – showing girls’ friendships in an unfiltered, non-sappy way – is rather timeless. The actors and the characters make it easier to overlook the slightly creepy parts of Our Ladies.
Copyright ©2021 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: November 27, 2021.