Sunday 24 June 2018

Finding Your Feet movie review: 'An unexpected joy - a cosy, casual Sunday afternoon offering'

Finding Your Feet
Finding Your Feet

Chris Wasser

There's a lesson to be learned from director Richard Loncraine’s breezy, OAP rom-com, Finding Your Feet. Several, actually. One: it’s never too late to take up dancing. Two: being a snob (or, just an asshole) gets you nowhere. Three: if you give the great Joanna Lumley nothing funny to say or do, it will show. And it does. Never mind.

In Finding Your Feet, Lumley takes a back seat to Imelda Staunton, the real star of a late-in-the-day romance that, despite its limitations, will surely find an audience (we’re reluctant to use the term ‘grey euro’, but oh well).

Staunton is Sandra, a 60-something middle-class snob who makes a shocking discovery at her husband’s retirement bash. Yep, it seems her husband (John Sessions) has been having an affair with her best mate (Josie Lawrence), and poor Sandra is only devastated (as you would be, like). So, Sandra packs her bags and heads to her sister’s flat (enter the delightful Celia Imrie as ‘Bif’) in London to cry, drink some wine and cry some more.

She also finds time to criticise Bif’s way of life (she’s a bit of a bohemian, is Bif). Later, Sandra meets Bif’s mate, Charlie (the wonderful Timothy Spall). Eventually, she joins Bif’s dance class (enter David Hayman and the aforementioned Lumley). Eventually, she finds a way to get over herself.

Then, she falls for good-old Charlie, who lives on a barge, smokes marijuana and wears a cool hat. Oh, and Finding Your Feet (the title alone is enough to let you know what you’re in for) also comes with a built-in trip to Rome. Because, you know, romance. Plus, the dance students get a gig there.

To be fair, the Roman holiday genuinely adds to the fun. That’s the thing about Finding Your Feet. It is the most predictable, most formulaic, most straightforward dramedy ever made. Heck, if you can’t tell how things will pan out after the first 15 minutes, then you should probably go and lie down. But it has its moments — it’s well-cast, well-performed and very well carried off. It’s an unexpected joy, basically; a cosy and casual, Sunday afternoon offering, that passes the time nicely.

Staunton has all the fun as our dancing Scrooge. Spall has a blast in his barge. Imrie steals the show. Indeed, Finding Your Feet finds the strangest ways to make you chuckle and to bring a tear to your eye — often in the same breath.

In a word? Grand. Lumley is totally wasted, mind, but grand, nonetheless. Finding Your Feet (Cert: 12A)


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