Saving Grace

"Weak"

Saving Grace Review


There is comic potential in Saving Grace, but its two interesting main characters and their unusual business arrangement are buried under a mound of predictable, weathered material.

In the movie, a middle-aged English widow (Brenda Blethyn) is left with a stack of debts after her philandering dope of a husband commits suicide. Her Scottish gardener (Craig Ferguson of the irksome Drew Carey Show) needs help growing hemp and Blethyn just happens to have a green thumb. With his insistence, they soon grow tons of weed in her huge greenhouse, turning it into a stoner's wet dream.

Writers Mark Crowdy and Craig Ferguson (who also produced) don't flesh out this scenario, though. Blethyn does a fine job in the title role and makes the film palatable. With her sing-songy delivery and matronly looks, there is a good foundation for laughs. The scene of her dressed like Superfly's aunt when she looks for London drug buyers is a hoot.

But Blethyn, a two-time Academy Award-nominated actress, never gets a chance to interpret or broaden the role. The film opts to throw in a bunch of drowsy, sitcomish subplots that dwarf development on all fronts. Ferguson's fisher girlfriend is pregnant, but can't tell him the happy news. Director Nigel Cole should feel proud. That device has now officially been used more times than penicillin. Blethyn meets, befriends and uses her husband's mistress to get connected with a drug dealer. The whole bizarre chain of events doesn't get played for laughs--a botched comic opportunity.

Ultimately, this all leads to Blethyn and Ferguson being chased by drug dealing thugs and a corporate boss who wants his debt paid. Yes, by the end it's officially become the next Love Bug movie--Herbie Gets High.

The worst thing about Saving Grace is that the drug aspect isn't used with any flair, further highlighting the film's bland, uncreative core. Every reefer joke involves button-down people acting goofy--whether it be Blethyn laughing uncontrollably when taking a hit of her own stash, or a garden party getting funky when she burns her considerable cash crop.

Come on. Don't Ferguson and Crowdy know the best drug jokes come from the fried responses, but not people acting like Woodstock bozos? Remember Jack Nicholson talking about aliens in Easy Rider? Or Rory Cochran describing Martha and George Washington as America's hemp harvesting pioneers in Dazed and Confused?

Those were funny, unforgettable scenes. Saving Grace is so bent on thinking that just getting high is a hoot, that Blethyn's and Ferguson's scheme comes across as an opportunity to only showcase this stupid behavior. That's not good.

The bottom line is that Saving Grace doesn't bother to try. It goes for the easiest way out, the least amount of effort. It tries to float solely on the notion of a spinster growing drugs, buoyed by recycled subplots.

Head shots.



Saving Grace

Facts and Figures

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st September 2000

Box Office USA: $11.5M

Distributed by: Fine Line Features

Production compaines: Homerun Productions, Portman Entertainment Group, Rich Pickings, Sky Pictures, Wave Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 56 Rotten: 33

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Grace Trevethyn, as Matthew Steward, as Dr. Martin Bamford, as Jacques Chevalier, as China MacFarlane, as Vince, as Nicky, as Harvey, as Vicar Gerald Perey, Denise Coffey as Mrs. Hopkins, as Charlie, Ken Campbell as Sgt. Alfred Masely, as Melvyn, Philip Wright as Nigel Pimpton, Darren Southworth as Terry, as Tony, as Bob, Johnny Bamford as Removal Boss, Bill Hallet as Postman, Alison Dillon as Kelly, as John Trevethyn, as Margaret Sutton, as Quentin Rhodes

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.