First, the R rating is dumb--it's for a bit of nudity that wouldn't shock a country vicar. Second, the film is based on the book by Dodie Smith (who wrote "101 Dalmatians") and is a coming-of-age tale set in 1936 in the Suffolk countryside. The Mortmains rent a small crumbling castle and times are hard. Dad James (Nighy) ignores his family and hides away to "write," leaving flaky second wife Topaz (Fitzgerald) to cope. Cassandra (Garai) is 17, smart, and pretty but overshadowed by her ambitious, beautiful older sister Rose (Bryne) who is determined to marry well. She gets her chance when two wealthy American brothers, Simon (Thomas) and Neil (Blucas), arrive to claim their inheritance, which includes the castle. Quite a romantic tangle ensues. Fine acting, particularly by Garai who gives the story its point of view.
Sony Pictures Home Video, Sony Pictures Plz., 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: (310)244-7306, Fax: (310)280-2485, URL: http://www.spe.sony.com, Remarks: Formerly Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 113 minutes.
Originally from British.
L.A. Film Critics 2003: Support. Actor (Nighy).
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