Sunday, April 5, 2009

I am forever finding recommendations for movies and books that deal with Britain in some way. One such gem is the hard-to-classify Unconditional Love. The story is simple enough: Grace is a Chicago housewife whose marriage is falling apart at the same time her favorite singer is murdered in her hometown by "the Crossbow Killer." Since she is suddenly without a reason to stay in Chicago, she decides to attend the singer's funeral in England. While there, she meets the singer's lover Dirk, played by Rupert Everett, and together they decide to return to Chicago and track down the killer.

The time spent in England is brief, but there are some lovely scenes of the English countryside. The film was filled with unexpected events (the characters were forever breaking into song) and appearances by celebrities. Aside from the major characters, played by Kathy Bates, Dan Aykroyd, Rupert Everett and Jonathan Pryce, we also get to see Julie Andrews, Barry Manilow and Sally Jessy Raphael portraying themselves. Lynn Redgrave also has a major role playing the uptight sister of the murdered singer, and Peter Sarsgaard is a voyeuristic window-washer. With such a strong cast, I was surprised not to have heard of this film before.

The action becomes somewhat slapstick as the trio of Grace, Dirk and Maudey (Grace's short-statured daughter-in-law) go on the hunt for the killer. Maudey, played by Meredith Eaton, was the true star of the show. She was fearless and always had a cutting remark ready, whether confronting rude waitresses or menacing serial killers. There might be one too many singalongs, but other than that, the film is a lot of fun and never boring!

Final Verdict for Unconditional Love: Four Gherkins, for being an unconventional and entertaining story with an oddball cast of characters


Elizabeth said...

I LOVED this film! I don't have any idea when or whyfore I saw it (probably b/c of Netflix), but it is true... never mess with a little person in red rain coat!

Lisanne624 said...

Elizabeth, I'm glad I've connected with another fan! I also loved the film, although I still haven't seen the original one that they are referring to -- the one where the little person in a red raincoat runs amok! :)

SofieK said...

I AGREE! this movie is a hidden gem worth watching... take it from a dwarf in a red raincoat

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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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