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Shirley Valentine [DVD] 
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Endearingly witty movie about an English housewife who rebels against her dreary life and takes a holiday in Greece, where she finds independence, Romance ...and herself.
Pauline Collins repeats her stage success as the character Shirley Valentine, a married woman who decides in her middle years that she wants more out of life. Leaving her spouse behind, she heads to Greece, where she grows close to a low-key local bloke (Tom Conti). Collins and director Lewis Gilbert (Educating Rita) choose to let the character, as she did in the play, speak directly to the audience at times and the gamble works in terms of creating a gentle, intimate atmosphere. Conti is a bonus, a warm presence and funny to boot. --Tom Keogh
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My wife and I are Nuts about Greece - so when Googling films about Greece - this came up.
We both loved it and being middle aged ourselves now it really struck a chord. Both heartwarming and heartbreaking with a good few chuckles in between, it’s a story of how a liberated, devil may care young girl becomes a slave to the 80’s idea of a housewife, mother and domesticity. She doesn’t even know how it ever have happened - but when she has her epiphany there’s no stopping her -and the viewer is carried along, watching her transform and break free.
The Greek scenes are beautifully shot, that lovely rose tinted 7pm sunset features a number of times - and for a moment the viewer is transported back to Greece with Shirley.
Whatever happened to Shirley Valentine? Well, she certainly lit up our evening and gave us a film to return to many times over.
Incredibly lonely, Shirley talks to the wall in her kitchen for company, and reminisces about the life she once had and tries to establish exactly where she - Shirley Valentine, the funny, witty and vibrant young woman - has gone.
Her best friend has a holiday booked for Greece and begs Shirley to come along. However, when she gets to Greece, Shirley becomes abandoned when her friend finds a handsome man and although initially frightened at being on her own - one of her biggest insecurities about her life - she musters some courage to go out, explore Greece and begin to finally try to find herself.
This film is based on a hit play by Willy Russell (which also starred the brilliant Pauline Collins in the title role), and as such, the film is mostly driven by a monologue from Shirley. In her long and touching monologues, she "talks to the wall" which becomes a blatant metaphor for "breaking the fourth wall" (that known metaphor in theatre and film when an actor addresses or acknowledges the audience) and as such, as an "audience member", you feel incredibly connected to the character, as not only is she an "every-woman" type of character that we've all known at least once in our life, but you feel almost as if you are having a private discussion with the woman, in which she is doing all the talking, and it makes it incredibly easy to sympathise with the character despite you might not necessarily agree with her actions in the film.
There's a bittersweet sadness in the film that only just slightly lingers under the surface, but the sadness is lifted by amusing dialogue and some great writing and acting. There's very little foul language although there is a little bit of nudity - Pauline Collins can only be commended for getting her clothes off on camera as in the era this was made, very little nudity was shown as it was and even if it was, it wasn't by a woman who was a size sixteen and in her forties.
A very enjoyable movie that I would highly recommend to all ages, it's relatable and very entertaining.
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