“I remember feeling like that once. I was on drugs.”
Yes, I do realize that How About You is a story about old cranky people. And yes I do realize that this story comes from a book of the same name written by an author who writes cute little uplifting stories. I work in a library in a town filled with senior citizens they go ape shit over Maeve Binchy’s books. I never would have watched How About You had it not been for my current girl crush Hayley Atwell. The movies I will watch for my favorite actors and actresses.
Ellie (Atwell) goes to work for her older sister Kate who runs a nursing home. Kate and Elli do not get along very well so Kate is not very happy to see her sister who has dropped out of college and moved out of her apartment to travel around the world with her boyfriend and some friends. Ellie thinks the job is going to be easy just bringing the old cranky residents what they want and cleaning up the place. Four of the residents- Donald, Georgia (Vanessa Redgrave) and sisters Heather and Hazel- make no one’s life easy. So many residents have moved out because of the four of them making Kate lose a lot of money.
Ellie becomes close a sweet resident named Alice. She and Alice have the love of traveling in common. Also Alice listens to Ellie and does not judge her. Alice is very sick and one day she unfortunately dies. Ellie wakes up to find her gone. The other nurses and Kate continue on with their day as if nothing major happened while Ellie feels the loss.
Kate tells Ellie that their mother has had a stroke and she has to go be with her. All the other nurses and staff have left for the Christmas holiday and there is no other home where the four nightmares can stay. She makes Ellie stay with them even though she can get in a lot of trouble by the health inspector for doing so. Needless to say Ellie is not very happy but she takes the responsibility.
In the middle of the night Georgia calls for her thinking there are bugs flying around her room and then wants Ellie to make her a drink. Donald calls at 5:30 in the morning giving orders for his breakfast at 6:00 even though breakfast is not served for everyone else until 8:00. Neither one of the four gets along very well and of course they all make Ellie’s life a living hell. A few days before Christmas, Ellie tries to get them to decorate together for Christmas. They all give her lip and she finally has it and snaps. She tells them all the truth they need to hear about themselves. This puts the four old grumps in their place and they shape up.
Ellie takes them out to gather supplies for Christmas dinner. They all go out to a bar and they have a good time getting to know each other.
By the time Kate comes back Donald, Georgia, Hazel, and Heather are all different people. They all understand each other better after realizing how unhappy and terrible they were. Kate tells her sister she can stay but Ellie still needs to go and do what she had planned.
The cast was actually great. Hayley Atwell was of course totally adorable and absolutely fantastic. Is that my massive love for her and my girl crush for her talking? Most likely but she was good with the older cast members. I had a fantastic time hearing the f-bomb and other curses come flying out of her mouth and even the older cast members’ mouths every once in a while. Vanessa Redgrave looked so old. I do know if she just got really old or if she had older makeup and hair and clothes put on her to make her appear older. She looked terrible. But I will say her character was a panic. Georgia was supposed to be an old glamorous chorus girl who was always a touch dramatic. Imelda Staunton played Hazel. For those of you who do not recognize the name she was Professor Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies. I cannot see her as anything other than that evil annoying woman so she is always annoying to me no matter what movie is in!
I thought How About You was cute despite being a bit typical. The story was not totally typical it was a bit different. I could tell that the story being set in Ireland and having been written by an Irish author rather than an American author. The story was cute but it had bite and it was not over sentimental. If it had been made in America and written by an American author it would have been overly sentimental and sickly, awfully cute. While I had a good time watching the How About You I would not say it is for everyone. If you are a Hayley Atwell fan like me the movie is worth watching to see her in an early role (she was only twenty-five!). The girl is just so damn talented.