LIFE IS SWEET
A good feel good comedy about a fairly dis-jointed family..Great perfomances from Alison Steadman,Jim Broadbent,Jane Horrocks and Timothy Spalls..I remembered watching this film in 1990 when it was on Film Four, just as good second time around.
a slice of life; great acting
I bought this because I enjoy the work of this particular director Mike Leigh. I like the fact he allows the actors to make up the script as they go along, and they all have a say in how the characters and story develop. This film centres on one family, with Alison Steadman as the mother, and Jim Broadbent as the father. They have two girls, twins, who are chalk and cheese. Jane Horrocks is superb as one of the twins who is deeply neurotic and full of self loathing. She cuts herself off from the rest of the family emotionally but by the end of the film has been brought back in a little by the other family members. Alison Steadman is great at showing a character on different levels, first the ever cheerful optimistic mother who when trying to reach her wayward daughter shows a deeper, wiser side and who succeeds in grabbing her daughter back from the void. The other twin is more balanced quiet and practical. A couple of days in the life of this family may seem dull, but it works and conveys life as it is, painfully real with all of its every day problems and ways to overcome them. You believe in the characters and want them to succeed. It shows life as it is - warts and all - and that life can be sweet nevertheless.Read full review
Life Is Sweet
I bought this film as I'm a big fan of Mike leigh's work and wanted this film on DVD widescreen format. The film is the story of ordinary suburban family life. Andy (Jim Broadbent) works as a head cook in a factory and his wife Wendy (Alison Steadman) works in a kiddies clothes shop and runs a children's dance club in her spare time. They have two teenage twin daughters, Natalie and Nicola(Jane Horrocks). Natalie is a sensible tom boy and works hard at her job as a plumber whereas Nicola is a feminist/activist with a politicaly correct outlook on life and more than her fair share of emotional issues. Two colourfull characters also pay there dues, including a drunk wide boy called Patsy who inadvertantly sells Andy a broken down caravan as a potential catering project and a neurotic chef called Aubry (Timothy Spall) who holds a very eventfull opening night in his new French restaurant. he employs Wendy as a last minute stand in waitress as his regular waitress has gone awol. The whole hilarious story unfolds over the course of a laid back Summer's Weekend in Enfield and culminates in an emotional showdown between Wendy and Natalie and an accident that debilitates Andy. Maybe these misfoutunes are the catalist that can spark a family bonding. I don't know how long the film is in lenght but I do loose track of time as the quality of the filmaking and characterisations totally absorbs you and you become quite entranced as this gentle comedy unfolds. A real must for English Comedy/drama and lovers of quality acting. Barnaby HughesRead full review
Life Is Sweet
"Life Is Sweet" is a few days in the company of a North London family, living a seemingly simple and uncomplicated life, although not without their problems. Daughter Nicola (Jane Horrocks) is suffering from an eating disorder, and parents Andy (Jim Broadbent) and Wendy (Alison Steadman) do their best to cope with the everyday frustration of working in uninspring jobs. Despite their problems though, they are a happy family, and as a result, make for very entertaining viewing. Typical of Mike Leigh, this is a low-key affair, but the devil is in the detail as usual. And it's the nuances of the main characters that really give this film something extra. The cast is brilliant, especially Horrocks and Broadbent. Andy's happy-go-lucky antics are perfectly offset against the angst-ridden and depressed Nicola, but ultimately their family bond is strong. The supporting cast is also excellent. Stephen Rea in a rare humourous role plays Andy's drunken mate Patsy, but stock Mike Leigh actor Timothy Spall steals the show with the ridiculous Aubrey, an 'entrepenuer' who is trying to open a restaurant, but is never likely to succeed. The dialogue is natural and unforced, and you really get the feeling that the characters are real. It's a simple film, and doesn't try to be something that it's not. Unaffected and charming, and ultimately hopeful, this is a rare type of film whose subject matter is simple family life, warts and all. But with a brilliant cast and some absolutely hilarious moments and lines, "Life Is Sweet" is a joy to watch. The DVD spares little (infact nothing) in the way of extras unfortunately, but it looks and sounds so much better on DVD than VHS anyway, that its certainly worth having in this format.Read full review