Shirley Valentine (1989)


Posted on July 31, 2008 by

Shirley Valentine

Shirley’s a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who finds herself talking to the wall while she prepares her husband’s chip’n’egg, wondering what happened to her life. She compares scenes in her current life with what she used to be like and feels she’s stagnated and in a rut. But when her best friend wins an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece for two, Shirley begins to see the world, and herself, in a different light.

One of my favorite flicks for many reasons. It completely reinforces my trip to Greece fantasy. It illuminates the drawbacks of a small life, and highlights the options. It makes being “of a certain age” seem a bit more palatable. It has several laugh out loud lines, along with all the chuckles. It also has a great message and some very touching moments. It has gorgeous scenery. It has Tom Conti 😀

Shirley Valentine is an anthem to the freedom of the soul–with a generous dose of salt of the earth.

I have yet to see Mamma Mia, but I doubt it will replace Shirley Valentine on my “chick flick set in Greece” list. The only reason it doesn’t get the full five stars is because of the chick-flickiness….and some bad language…and nudity.

If you haven’t yet seen it, rent it soon. You may not love it as much as I do, but you are sure to be entertained.

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 73%; Users 76%

Response to Shirley Valentine (1989)

  1. Woods

    My review when I saw it 6/14/05: A charming story of a middle-aged woman reinventing herself. Sweet and a bit idealistic, it still hits home on most counts. The ending is too contrived but the upbeat attitude and optimism of the film make it an enjoyable and “recommedable” film. At the same time, Beware: Chick-Flick.

    Hiedi’s review from the same viewing: “I want to make f*** with you.” A sweet and funny film. Shirley is a kick – no nonsense, vulnerable and sassy all at once. We cheer for her independent leap to go to Greece, live it up and attempt to change her life. The appearance of the husband at the end is contrived. Will he change? Is that all she wanted – her husband to come after her? It belittles the entire story.

Would you recommend it to your friends?