x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

How About You

DVD review Yes, it's all fairly predictable, writes Ella Stimson. But at least the top-drawer cast seems to be having a good time.

The most impressive thing about How About You is the calibre of the cast that has been assembled to star in this otherwise unremarkable, if charming, film. Vanessa Redgrave, Joss Akland, Brenda Fricker and Imelda Staunton are "the hard-core", a cantankerous group of residents in an old people's home whose antics have been driving staff to their wits' end and scaring off potential new customers in droves. When everyone else is taken home by their families for the holiday season, they are stuck there with nowhere else to go. But they could have met their match in Ellie (Hayley Atwell), the stroppy sister of the care home owner Kate (Orla Brady) who turns up to earn some extra money to go travelling and ends up being left in sole charge of the place while Kate deals with a family emergency. Cue much unreasonable behaviour from all involved, eventually leading to personal growth and heartwarming moments. Yes, it's all fairly predictable, but it can't help but be elevated above the slight plot by the performances. If nothing else, it's a pleasure to watch these four top-drawer actors get the most out of the screenplay, which is based on a short story by Maeve Binchy. And while it's unlikely to have stretched their acting muscles, they do all seem to be having a very good time.