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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.