Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Wonderful Life

Isn't Life Wonderful! (1954) is an amiable, colorful British comedy about a turn-of-the-century upper class family and the changing times. It features a stern father, Cecil Parker, and an alcoholic blacksheep uncle, Donald Wolfit. Uncle Willy has to be gotten out of the way so he will not upset brother (cousin?) Frank's marriage to a rich American, Dianne Foster. So they set him up with a bicycle shop, much to the delight of little Peter Asher, who plays narrator and Greek chorus.

The humor comes from Willy's gentle tweaking of Edwardian propriety, not limited to drinking but including women riding bicycles and new fangled motorcars. This is pretty mild stuff. In fact, it's hard to see how they stretched this to the whole 83 minutes.

But you British Invasion fans may be interested to note that the little boy, Peter Asher, is the Peter in Peter and Gordon, as in "World without Love". Brother to Paul McCartney's girlfriend Jane Asher and so on. Well, maybe not exactly interested, but it is something.

In conclusion, just a little time-filler from Netflix streaming recommendations.

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