Calendar Girls (2003)—British
When Annie Clark's husband dies of leukemia, her best friend Chris Harper happens upon an idea to honor his memory after finding a pornography magazine belonging to her son. A group of women friends in their fifties from Yorkshire's normally staid Women's Institute pose in the nude ("not naked!" we are reminded in the film) to produce and market a pin-up calendar, the proceeds of which would benefit the hospital where John was treated and died. Starting with an initial print run of 500 calendars, the women meet international acclaim, including an appearance on the Jay Leno Show, and raise jumi million for the hospital. There is nothing erotic or even sensual in this lighthearted British comedy (rated PG-13). All the women's poses are strategically obscured by potted plants and the like. Instead, in addition to the mischief-making comedy, there are surprisingly powerful sub-themes of body image, aging, grief and loss, community, and memory. The film is based upon a true story from 1999. I was prepared to dismiss this film but instead enjoyed it for the lighthearted fun that it is.