Calendar Girls

Rated 3.0 A group of middle-aged, middle-class Englishwomen agrees to pose nude for a charity calendar. Taking off from a true story, writers Tim Firth and Juliette Towhidi do their best to tart it up with the usual brand of movie clichés: shocked neighbors, marital crises and the pitfalls of sudden celebrity. Firth and Towhidi might have made the movie hopelessly banal, but, happily, they’re just too half-hearted and unskillful to damage the story’s appeal or the immense charm of the movie’s players much. As the two driving forces behind the calendar, Helen Mirren and Julie Walters make a great team of no-nonsense pals, supported by some of the unsung heroines of the British acting profession (Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Linda Bassett and Annette Crosbie). Nigel Cole’s direction is bland but inoffensive.