I thought this film was totally enjoyable and charming. Quite surprisingly good.
Why surprising? Because it has so many stars in it that I feared it was one of those projects where the producer had just decided to throw money at a somewhat predictable storyline. But Judy Dench, Kenneth Branagh and the others certainly live up to their considerable reputations; and the two main actors are excellent as the hero, Clark, and Marilynne. It is really a bitter-sweet fairy-tale, but one which is entirely believable. A very accurate and amusing picture is painted, of the vast gulf which existed in the late 1950s between British and American culture, two styles of acting, and two ways of life.
I think the makers of this film have understood the psychology of Marilynne Monroe very well. She had created a role which she could play to perfection, but which she did not always want to play. It is very telling that at one point she asks 'shall I be HER?' Her frailty and vulnerability shows through. You begin to understand what drove her to drink, and worse.
It is a minor point but I was also fascinated to learn for the first time that the hero, Clark, was the second son of 'Lord Clark of Civilisation' and the younger brother of Alan Clark, the diarist, politician and roguish aristocrat who swam round the moat of his castle once a year at Christmas time.