Saving Grace

-

Saving Grace

-

Saving Grace

Community Grade

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade

?

In Saving Grace, the umpteenth insufferably quirky comedy to spin off the success of The Full Monty, Brenda Blethyn stars as a newly widowed woman in Port Liac, a soap-commercial backdrop posing as a picturesque seaside Cornish village. Still reeling from her husband's suicide, Blethyn is told that his shady business dealings have left behind a mountain of debt, and that the bank will foreclose on her lavish estate if she doesn't come up with a quick 300,000 pounds. An expert gardener, she and local pothead Craig Ferguson concoct a scheme to cultivate a massive cannabis crop and sell it to London drug dealers. The humor in Saving Grace comes almost entirely from the thin idea of a refined, proper Englishwoman cheerily embracing marijuana subculture and, to that end, Blethyn proves to be a fine comedienne, delivering a performance that's as nervy as her work in Secrets & Lies, but stops short of broad caricature. Though good-spirited and briskly paced, the film's hoary pot humor seems informed by '50s government propaganda reels and George Harrison's sitar phase, all wild-eyed insanity and Maharishi music cues. Even the surefire jokes fail to pay off, like the unfailingly polite Blethyn, in a white pantsuit, looking for buyers on the London streets, or a couple of old biddies who mistake her plants for tea leaves. The padded script, by Ferguson and Mark Crowdy, is too occupied with characters and subplots that distract from the comedy, including pulse-pounding scenes in a bank executive's office and cloying material about Ferguson's responsibility to pregnant wife Valerie Edmond. A marginal improvement on the same formula used by Waking Ned Devine, The Closer You Get, The Castle, and others, Saving Grace is meant to be heartwarming, funny, and brimming with local color. But it's just condescending and cute, a human cartoon show for the arthouse crowd.

More DVD Review