I call them "Friday Night Films", and anyone who knows me well (you really don't have to know me that well... I literally debated this with my Uber driver the other night) will know that I will go to my grave defending the honour of feel-good flicks - and 'Military Wives' is a classic Britcom. A straight-up Friday feel-good film, and if you go to see this movie expecting anything less - well then, you're just a fool who didn't read the poster.
As any sensible person asked to review a film about a women's middle-aged singing troop would, I took my mother as a plus one. Did she feel targeted? Slightly. Nevertheless, we sat there, two smarmy smartarses, looking at the poster and discussing how films such as these were called "high concept". In less nice terms, completely predictable, but enjoyable all the same. We made our predictions and nestled in for a two-hour ride of comedy, singing, subplots and heartwarming-ness. Were we wrong? Absolutely not. Did I still come out of it having had a fucking fantastic time? Yes.
Lisa (Sharon Horgan; 'This Way Up,' 'Game Night') and Kate (Kristin Scott Thomas; 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', 'The English Patient') have clashing personalities, but similar fears and goals. They must overcome their adversity in order to properly lead the choir group they have established for military wives on the base, in order to distract them from the constant anxiety of losing their spouses. You get the gist. There are strong female leads, there's wine, there are catchy tunes, and even high drama.
This film was a big ol' ball of fun and highly rewarding. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and most importantly it gave context and voice to the livelihood of women who hadn't had their story told. 'Military Wives' is like an Ed Sheeran song - you wanna hate it, but never could. That's the way these films have always been. Whether it's 'Miss Congeniality' when I'm seven or 'Military Wives' when I'm 20, I still got to sit down on a Friday night with one of my favourite people and watch a true staple of entertainment. This film had everything it needed in it - and what's more, I think it will mean so much to the community it aimed to represent. And it represented them well.
They deliver us with the messages and lessons we need or maybe have forgotten about - messages of support, friendship, courage, humour and love!
There are goosebump moments and parts you could have written yourself. But maybe that's why we need these films. They make us feel good, we seem like we're slightly smarter for being able to guess the next step, and they serve as good reminders for how we should be living our lives. They deliver us with the messages and lessons we need or maybe have forgotten about - messages of support, friendship, courage, humour and love! If you need a film to positively and directly remind you of the values you want to be reflecting in your life, go get yourself a ticket to see this film.