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Waitress Christine Painter (Walters) sublets seedy bedsits to local prostitutes, by whose lifestyle she is at once appalled and fascinated. Inevitably, one thing leads to another, and pretty soon CP is catering to the oddly innocuous fantasies of middle-aged, middle class clients. The opening disclaimer, offering safe assurance that the film is not about, only inspired by Cynthia Payne, seems symptomatic of its overall timidity. For although one can applaud the emphasis on everyday ordinariness and the almost matter-of-fact portrait of sexual diversity, what begins as a sporadically astute examination of one woman's drift into a secret and forbidden life, soon degenerates into cliché (what she truly wants is a real man) and an embarrassingly celebratory 'all the world's a pervert' stance. Some good performances (notably Walters, McCowen and Stelfox), but the film itself finally remains toothless, cosy, and (in the saddest sense) very, very English.

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Terry Jones
Screenwriter: David Leland
Cast: Julie Walters
Alec McCowen
Danny Schiller
Shirley Stelfox
Victoria Hardcastle
Tim Woodward
Dave Atkins

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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