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Parents' Guide to

Keeping Mum

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

British comedy has sex, innuendo, language, some violence.

Movie R 2005 99 minutes
Keeping Mum Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Please Keep Away Mum

Keeping Mum – Please, Keep Away Mum Here’s one for those who like to laugh without thinking too much about the writing. The black ‘humor’ gets blacker and grottier as this over-the-top nonsense falls off the rails. While it boasts a good cast and production values, all other values are forgotten as the movie makers go all out for lowly giggles and thinly veiled soft porn. Rather obviously borrowing from the earlier American ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ this English picture adds a grimy American character (Patrick Swayze) lusting after any woman who presents as a vulnerable conquest. In the sales promo Mr Swayze says “Every so often a script comes along that stands out from the rest” - Poor Pat, he sure must have been offered a lot of stinkers or more likely was paid handsomely to make that statement! Mr Atkinson has played local Vickers several times before, but this could possibly be his weakest. The casting and handsome locations will carry this for most viewers, but anyone wanting more may be disappointed by the total outcome.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

A British comedy with a stellar cast that never quite gets a grip on its tone, skimping on the dark comedy that might have better suited the subject matter in favor of labored innuendo. Where the fun really lies in Keeping Mum is with the breezy Mary Poppins-like way Smith's housekeeper character approaches the most macabre of tasks, while predictable provincial drama unfolds all around. So when the film strays into sexual innuendo -- pushed to the limit in Patrick Swayze's sleazy golf teacher -- it snaps you out of what was an enjoyable watch.

Scott Thomas gives a strong performance as the wife at her wit's (and her libido's) end, and Atkinson taps into his Four Weddings and a Funeral bumble with unexpected restraint as the clueless husband of the cloth. It's slight but charming, and fun in places, with the veteran actors just managing to keep the undisciplined screenplay on track until the grisly end.

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