Willy Russell's adaptation of his own slick theatrical two-hander pits Liverpudlian housewife Walters, in pursuit of true learning via the Open University, against alcoholic academic hack Caine. Apart from the odd cinematic in-joke (Caine's booze concealed behind a copy of The Lost Weekend), Gilbert's direction remains serviceable but stolid: the film's faults - and merits - are mostly those of the play. A few flashes of wit and insight lie embedded in a morass of prejudice, cliché and evasion. Only Walters' ebullient movie debut as the chirpy working class sparrow wanting to 'sing a different song' (the role she created on stage) almost succeeds in infusing the exercise with infectious life.
Cast and crew