Sunday, May 12, 2013

3 Short Paragraphs: Made in Dagenham

2010, Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls) -- Netflix

I think the first big, British, people do something astounding to better their community movie was The Full Monty, no?  This could probably lead to a couple hours of research on the Internet instead of three quickly penned paragraphs.  So let's let it lie there.  We will assume that you are aware of the genre, of an ensemble cast of working class British folks that are having a difficulty of sorts.  And they do something spectacular, as a group but encouraged by a charismatic leader, to better themselves and their community.  The stereotypical British feel-good-movie. This time round its women's working rights in a 60s Ford factory.

The men assembled the cars, the women did the stitching of the fabric interior.  In what could be called a sweat shop, in that they are all jammed into the shop and the heat has them stripping down to their giant undies, the ladies of Dagenham are a jovial lot of friends, of all ages, working together to sew the seats that the men then attach into the cars.  Cars that few of the workers can afford, as they all bicycle to work.  Bob Hoskins is the shop foreman and Sally Hawkins is Rita, who comes out of her meek shell to demand that the women be considered skilled labour, and be paid as much as the men.

This is a by the books feel good comedy with a message.  We chuckle at the different opinions, the quirky ladies and the occasional fish out of water reactions by the men.  We support their plight and cheer their bravery, especially when reality sets in and strike breakers descend and family lives suffer. I have to admit, I rather like that when a familiar song is played, I hum along with it cheerfully, as long as the song is played well.  That is a metaphor.  There are a few hummable 60s songs but I am being clever.  The problem lies in that it is not a new song whatsoever, not an extremely original song.  Nor are there any truly outstanding bridges or lyrics.  Still, hummable is worth something, right?  OK, metaphor retired.