A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kindness can be rewarding, and selfishness doesn't pay. Friendship is important, as is self-respect and perseverance. Follow your dreams.
Positive Role Models
Mrs. Harris is kind, smart, capable. She often puts others first, but proves able to stand up for what she believes in. Her best friend is supportive, encouraging, self-assured. Some strangers in Paris show kindness and an open mind; those who do not get their comeuppance.
While many gender roles are in keeping with the wartime setting, women are shown as strong and capable. Comment from an older single woman about not cleaning up after a man. Mention of older women feeling invisible. But Mrs. Harris and her friend make themselves visible by making an impact on those around them. Some racial diversity in cast, with Mrs. Harris' best friend, Vi, played by a Black actor, and further racial diversity in smaller roles. Some class snobbery is shown, but Mrs. Harris -- a cleaner -- is shown to hold her own in the Paris fashion environment.
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Violence & Scariness
Mention of war and a plane crash. Death of partners discussed. Brief dangerous driving in the street. Two characters accidentally knock heads but are uninjured.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Provocative cabaret shown, with performers wearing sexy costumes and making suggestive moves. Characters kiss on the lips.
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Occasional language includes "bloody," "arse," "bloomin'," "balls," and "t-ts." "Christ" and "God" are used as exclamations. The British phrase "Gordon Bennett" is used to express surprise and frustration.
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Products & Purchases
Christian Dior mentioned repeatedly, scenes set at the House of Dior. Discussion of £500 dress and expensive wedding. Some gambling is shown, including placing a bet at a horse race.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol on a number of occasions in bars, at events, and with dinner. A character drinks alcohol from a stranger's bottle in a public space. One scene involves a character missing a meeting because of a hangover. Characters smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is a charming 1950s-set comedy drama, adapted from a novel of the same name, with plenty of positive messages. It follows a cleaner, Mrs. Harris (Lesley Manville), who sets her sights on owning a couture dress. Using her savings, along with her newly discovered war widow's pension, she travels to Paris to make her dream come true. There is some smoking, befitting the time period. Characters are also seen drinking. In one instance, a character misses work due to a hangover. The brand Dior is mentioned frequently, and there is occasional language, including "bloody," "arse," and "t-ts." The movie is generally mild and well meaning, as well as smart and funny, and will likely be enjoyed by families with older kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's a strong fairytale aspect to this charming comedy drama about a kind, put-upon cleaner who works her way into the world of high fashion. And, in this case, the titular character in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris will go to the ball -- albeit a tea dance in a local hall. Manville (Oscar-nominated for her role in the 2017 dressmaking drama Phantom Thread) makes for a sympathetic, likable character whose inner resolve shines through her subservient position in a way that will resonate with many.
Pessimists (and even realists) may need to suspend disbelief, as the plot quickly unveils a cascade of unlikely events -- particularly once Mrs. Harris hits Paris, and her worldly outlook is blinded by shiny things. Realistic, it's not. At heart it's an uplifting underdog story, where characters learn about what's important and people get their comeuppance. But it's also smart, funny, and beautiful to look at. Sets and costumes really capture the era, from Mrs. Harris' dimly lit terraced home to the glittering Paris theaters. It's a Cinderella story about kindness, courage, and being seen. About believing in a little magic -- no matter how unlikely it seems.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.