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REVIEW: Finding Your Feet

February 23, 2018

Director: Richard Loncraine
Screenplay: Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard
Starring: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Joanna Lumley, David Hayman, John Sessions, Josie Lawrence
Runtime: 111 Minutes

 

★★☆☆☆

 

Finding Your Feet is another one of those late-life comedies that mainly exists to rake in the annual cinematic pickup of the Grey pound. Films aimed at the elderly and tailor-made to cater to a very specific strain of feelgood comedy, golden year romance, naughty yet tame innuendo gags and will leave audiences shuffling from the theatre assured that there still something left for them to look forward too in their retirement years.

 

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel might still be the definitive version of this to yet exist in the current era, but Finding Your Feet tries with great cast on hand and a familiar setup in which the stuffy upper-class Sandra (Imelda Staunton) must move back in with her bohemian, pot smoking, bicycle riding older sister Bif (Celia Imrie) in her urban London flat after being cheated on by her self-satisfied husband Mike (John Sessions), and learns to get back in touch with the simple pleasures of life at a dance class.

 

What disappoints is just how unfortunately safe it ends up playing it all. Every development and prospective new romance is heavily signposted, and the jokes themselves are the kind that only your nan or an equivalent might chortle to as they roll out one after the other with alarming regularity. A third act digression where the cast is flown to Rome to dance in competition for some reason feels like a selection of holiday snaps, and the dancing itself takes up less than you’d imagine and wastes on hand support such as Joanna Lumley and David Hayman.

 

What it handles well mostly just comes down to the cast, specifically Staunton and Timothy Spall who grant more affection and emotional depth to their characters than the screenplay allows. Spall’s canal boat owning Charlie gets one of the toughest roles as a husband whose Alzheimer suffering wife no longer recognises him.

 

The regularity of illness and funeral attendance hovers over proceedings, but the screenplay seems to forget about it with a tonal inconsistency that only brings these things up to generation big emotional moments that mostly end up falling flat thanks to the limp direction and an appallingly sickly score.

 

Finding Your Feet is really just harmless, but had it tried a little harder to engage beyond its affinity for its target audience or to try something different with the concept it would stand out more than just being as forgettable and flaccid as it is.

 

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