Movie Review: Behaving Badly

>> Friday, February 26

Plot summary found on

Based on a book by Catherine Heath (who co-wrote the film script) - Dench plays a stiff, upper-class wife who breaks down after learning of her husband's extramarital affair. After several years accepting her fate living in a small flat, working part-time and going to evening classes, she draws on her inner strength and decides to start behaving badly by making bold and risky changes in the way she lives her life. This includes moving back in with her ex-husband and his new wife, and then falling in love with a young man.

The miniseries concept allows for the story to build slowly - but perhaps a little too slowly in parts (especially if you're watching in one big block). Despite my admiration of any work that Judi Dench does, even I found the four hours a bit tiresome and was forced to fast forward some parts. In particular, the scenes featuring Gwen Watfordias as the former mother-in-law of Dench’s character were very annoying as the part is in no way an appealing one. Similarly, Joely Richardson’s supporting role as a nervous and stressed teacher grates on the nerves rather quickly too.

Behaving Badly is firmly pitched at a female audience (let's face it, how many blokes really want to sit through a story about a woman gaining control over her life and gaining the confidence to make her own decisions??).


When my mom came over for a visit last fall, she borrowed the movie "Behaving Badly" from the library. She started watching it alone but slowly, the kids and I sat down beside her to watch too. Yes, the movie was slow and sometimes boring and decidedly British but at the end of the first 2 episodes, we were all hooked! So hooked that we had to rush to the library to borrow the next episodes!
If you are not in the mood for vampires or violent movies or run of the mill comedies, borrow these movies. You will either fall asleep or after four hours or so, will want to know if there are more sequels!


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