- Defines stereotypical demographics; enjoyable for anyone and everyone
- Sweet, emotional and identifiable story
- Lots of laughs
- Lovable characters played well by an all-star British cast
Some films often appeal to a certain demographic; from CGI-heavy blockbusters to teary rom-coms, every film has a specific stereotypical demographic. Finding Your Feet, for example, at first glance perhaps seems like a film aimed towards the conservative over-60s population of the UK. With the occasional ever so slightly racy, Carry On-esque sex jokes, simple but sweet plot, and an all-star cast of familiar British actors who have been delighting us on-screen for many years, it ticks all the boxes that grandparents round the country want a film to tick. However, the biggest surprise this film has in store is how excellent it is regardless of demographic. Quite simply, no matter your interests or demographic, there’s no denying the charm of this film and how enjoyable it is.
Happily celebrating retirement and finally being able to officially call herself ‘Lady’, snobby and utterly middle-class Sandra discovers to her horror that her husband has been having an affair. Devastated and angry, she leaves him immediately to live with her hippy, estranged sister Bif in her council flat in London. Initially stern, judgmental and unwilling to make friends, Bif encourages her to come to her dance class, to reignite her passion for dance (and life). Eventually Sandra lets her hair down and discovers who she really is, finding romance and friends with the rest of Bif’s group, Charlie (Timothy Spall), Ted (David Hayman) and Jackie (Joanna Lumley).
It’s a simple story, but an effective one, never dragging in pace and always keeping our interest, all the while giving everyone at least something to identify with on some level. All in all, Finding Your Feet is absolutely a feel-good film. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows. On the contrary, there are some heart-breaking moments which can tease a tear from most stoic of viewers. Not only do these help us identify even more, but they make the characters feel more real and the highs and laughs seem just that much more enjoyable. And as for laughs there are plenty. You’ll definitely find yourself laughing more than crying, with a plethora of comic moments you could find yourself chuckling at even during repeated viewings.
All the laughs and feel-good feelings stem as much from the cast as they do from the script though. The only downside is how underused a comedy legend and icon like Joanna Lumley is. Still, like David Hayman also with a smaller part, they make the most of what they have and make an impact on the film, giving it a broader personality and still making you love the characters. Celia Imrie, Timothy Spall and Imelda Staunton are the trio at the heart of the film and all the sweetness emanates from them. With Bif’s lust for life, Imrie makes the film inspirational; fortunately breaking his typecasting, this time not being a Pettigrew-esque repulsive character, and instead playing perhaps the sweetest character in the film, Spall almost single-handedly bringing all its emotion with him; and Staunton’s development of her character leads the film in a charming way, constantly likeable and winning the audience over even before her character begins to change.
It may be lost among all the Oscar nominated films dominating cinemas at the moment, but Finding Your Feet is a fresh alternative that can’t fail to please. Endlessly charming, an excellent cast brings a sweet, emotional story with plenty of good laughs and a few memorable lines. You’ll be hunting for decent croissants in Surrey for years to come.