It's quickly apparent that Julie Walters was the perfect choice for the part of Cynthia Payne, the girl-next-door prostitute who might actually be the girl next door. Having been immortalised as the hunchback dithering tea lady in `Acorn Antiques', it's easy to forget how naturally attractive she was in the `80s when she seemed to make a career from playing women who rise from nothing using nothing but grit and perseverance.
The film shows the grotty side of the seedy houses and exploited women - but only briefly. The film becomes a dark comedy before turning into an all out `Carry On...' style farce. But once this goes, the story around her relationship with her son and dad helps to add depth once more.
Just as it seems that Terry Jones abandoned the more poignant aspect of prostitution in favour of a cheeky romp, we get a very symbolic ending which wraps the film up nicely.
In a nutshell: A film which shows Cynthia Payne as a victim, a hero, and at times the bully. This has an 18 certificate but today this would no doubt get a 15 rating, apart from the odd pair of boobs and some mentions of sexual acts - there's nothing to particularly offend. I can't help but think that this film presents the underbelly of British life better than many other films.