It’s the 1920s. John (Ben Barnes) comes from an old British family, which is slowly crumbling apart. When he returns from his travels with his new wife Larita (Jessica Biel), an American race car driver, John’s mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) is shocked, though his father (Colin Firth) takes an instant liking to her. Larita tries her best to fit in with the family, but in the end a war breaks out between her and the mother.
I liked this film. The cast was good, they had some very, very nice jokes, a sweet soundtrack and it was generally entertaining.
The story is not the most original of all times – the war with the mother-in-law is a pretty common sight. But I have rarely seen it done with the sympathies so clearly not with the son. I mean, usually he is the one trying to mediate while the crazy womenfolk pull each other’s hair. In this case, his a vapid idiot who doesn’t get his wife’s problems at all. And that was a nice change. [Well, not for her. But for the audience.]
Jessica Biel was surprisingly good in her role. I mean, we all know that Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas are great, but Jessica Biel could hold her own next to them, which is quite a feat. Ben Barnes on the other hand… well, let’s put it this way: It’s good that the movie doesn’t focus on him.
The soundtrack was good, too. Apparently most of the songs were written by Coward himself; and the ones that weren’t were Cowardified which worked really well.
The were only two things that were a bit annoying: the film left the bantering and verbal wit in favour of some slapstick a couple of times, which didn’t really fit (but wasn’t bad either) and Jessica Biel was about 10 years too young for her role. I mean, it worked and as I said before, she wasn’t bad, but it would have made a little more sense had she been 35 instead of 25.
Summarising: Not a great film, but a good one and one bound to make you smile.