A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Finding Your Feet is a British dramedy about mature folks (including Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, and Celia Imrie) finding happiness through a dance class. While violence isn't an issue, characters do die, there's some arguing, and a thief steals a handbag. A married man kisses a woman other than his wife, and a woman seduces her date by stripping down to her bra; he produces a packet of blue pills (Viagra). There's also innuendo, as well as single uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," but little else. One character drinks heavily to drown her sorrows but eventually stops. Social drinking is fairly frequent, and characters smoke pot more than once. While the characters are likable enough, the movie is very formulaic and overlong; it's unlikely that teens will be all that interested.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
In FINDING YOUR FEET, Sandra Abbott (Imelda Staunton) is looking forward to retired life with her well-to-do husband. Then, at his retirement party, she discovers that he's having an affair. She goes to stay with her sister, the free-spirit Bif (Celia Imrie), who lives happily in her average apartment. Bif likes to go on dates, swim in freezing lakes, and take senior dance classes with her friends Charlie (Timothy Spall), Jackie (Joanna Lumley), and Ted (David Hayman). The stiff, elitist Sandra clashes with the kindly Charlie, but when Bif drags Sandra to class, she begins to loosen up. But new love is elusive, as Charlie continues to care for his wife, who's stricken with Alzheimer's, and Sandra's ex-husband starts thinking that he wants her back.
Is it any good?
Another attempt at a charming working-class English comedy in the vein of The Full Monty, this one unfortunately isn't very funny. Finding Your Feet is too maudlin and too long; even the choppy dancing scenes fail to satisfy. Many other sweet, lighthearted movies about amateur dancers have managed to convey joy and freedom, from Billy Elliot to Shall We Dance? and even Cuban Fury, but Finding Your Feet spends only a fraction of its running time on the dance floor. And when it does, the frantic editing ruins the flow. It feels more closed off than freeing.
Plus, while the characters are certainly likable (and the actors enormously talented), the screenplay gives them only the most tentative attempts at humor. Not even the raucous, sassy Lumley gets to do much more than tell a feeble joke. Instead, director Richard Loncraine (of the excellent Richard III, as well as sillier films like Firewall and 5 Flights Up) focuses on scenes that don't seem to lead anywhere. This includes not one but two subplots about sickness (lung cancer and Alzheimer's), as well as a dance performance that has little at stake, and that creakiest of old chestnuts: a last-minute race against time for true love.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Finding Your Feet deals with sex. What's the difference between the sisters' sex lives? How do they each view sex and relationships?
Why is dancing therapeutic? How does this movie compare with other movies about dance?
How does the movie deal with old age and death? Is it sad? Hopeful? What are some ways to talk about these things?
What makes the characters in the movie happy? How does the movie view having money? How does it view freedom?
- In theaters: March 30, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: July 3, 2018
- Cast: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie
- Director: Richard Loncraine
- Studio: Roadside Attractions
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Arts and Dance
- Run time: 111 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: suggestive material, brief drug use, and brief strong language
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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