Anthony's Film Review
Calendar Girls (2003)
A decent film of inspiration based on a true story...
The title of this movie is simple yet deceptive. At first glance, you'd think that a movie titled Calendar Girls would feature young women with hourglass figures who are scantily clad or fully nude. But that's part of the film's gimmick. It makes you curious about what it's about before finally telling you that the women posing nude for a calendar are well over 50 years old. If you're really shallow, you'd shy away. But if you're like everyone else, you become more curious as you wonder who these women are.
Calendar Girls, a film made in the UK, is based on a true story. Helen Mirren plays a middle-aged woman who is part of a non-profit women's group. She and her fellow members want to raise money for charity in order to benefit a local hospital. She gets an unusual idea from an unusual place. One day, she discovers that her son has hidden a pornographic magazine between the mattresses of his bed. But she doesn't reel in shock. Rather, she's actually curious about it. If people could be fascinated by such material, then why not create and sell something like a nude calendar?
From there, the Helen Mirren character gathers enough of her friends to fill up the twelve pages of the planned calendar. They comfortably pose nude but do so artistically. Instead of full frontal nudity, they cover themselves strategically with various items. So if you're wondering if you actually have to see their parts exposed, then understand that you won't see much. The only depiction to note is that one scene shows a photograph of Helen Mirren's breasts. That's all the nudity you'll see in this movie.
As you may expect, the calendar becomes a sensation, enough for the women to fly to California and make an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. This is a good time for me to mention one observation I had with the movie. I liked the scene where the women receive letters of appreciation from other women whose husbands began appreciating them more since the calendar was released. It's a touching reminder that the women in the calendar are lovely in their own way. In other words, beauty exists at all ages, even if it exists in different ways at different ages.
There's nothing too remarkable about Calendar Girls, but it's not boring either. I applaud these women who did something brave for a good cause. There's nothing more rewarding than doing something positive for others to raise money, which in turn does further good for other people. As simple and widespread this message may be, it's one that can never be overly reinforced. If there's any reason to watch Calendar Girls, it's this take-home message. And if you like the skin of older ladies, you can certainly enjoy that here as well.
For more information about Calendar Girls, visit the Internet Movie Database.