Edie has led a largely unfulfilled life. Trapped for decades in a loveless marriage, she felt she couldn’t leave her jealous husband when he had a stroke and ended up in a wheelchair. Now her ungrateful daughter is about to put her into a home.
Before condemning herself to endless singalongs of The Lambeth Walk around the piano, Edie decides to finally do something with her life. She had always planned to climb a Scottish mountain with her father – though her husband’s disability and her father’s early death got in the way.
I’m in very much two minds about this film. On the one hand it’s very formulaic, and if the Inverness tourist board didn’t pay them for the lingering shots of Scottish nature, they’ll still be reaping the benefits. And some of the plot developments – it would be overkind to call them twists – are really not that plausible.
For example, I just don’t buy it that this independent, antisocial woman (not unlike my dear, departed mother) would spontaneously decide to employ Johnny as a personal trainer, just on an unconvincing suggestion by his ratfaced mate. She’s on this holiday partly to get away from people.
But without this decision, we don’t get the odd couple scenario on which films like this are always dependent. Also 2 hours of Edie walking on her own wouldn’t contain much dramatic tension, however beautiful the landscape.
But for all that, the acting sees it through, Sheila Hancock is great as Edie, physically frail, but with a mischievous glint in her eye, difficult to get on with, but not so much that you don’t understand why anyone would try to spend time with her.
And as Johnny, Kevin Guthrie does less heavy lifting, but does convey the essence of someone out of place, who doesn’t really like his mates, and is still with his ambitious girlfriend because he can’t think of anything better to do with himself.
Its not spectacular, doesn’t tell us anything we wouldn’t expect, but for all that it’s a well made film that keeps you with it till the end.