Calendar Girls

Release Date: December 19, 2003
Limited release

Remember that scene in Bachelor Party?

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No, it’s not a straight-to-video production a la Girls Gone Wild, nor is it a sequel to the 1993 Jason Priestly teen flick. Calendar Girls is a sweetly touching comedy about friendship and bravery that stands every chance of being a strong awards contender when that time of year rolls around.

The screenplay is based on a true story about 11 members of a Women’s Institute (WI) branch in Yorkshire, England who came up with an extremely novel approach to fundraising for medical research on various cancers of the blood. For the uninitiated, the various WI chapters are clubs that encourage craftmaking skills such as jam-making, flower pressing and arranging, baking, and knitting.

These middle-aged women, ranging in age from 45 to 60, posed nude for a calendar. The original goal was to raise 1,000 pounds, but the final result was an astonishing 500,000 pounds in profit by the time it was all said and done. Humorously, each individual month’s pose shows one of the women doing some sort of traditional WI activity, and for purposes of the movie, at least, props will tastefully hide the naughty bits of our heroines. As is obvious from the amazing sales of the calendar, it was a huge hit, which the movie will touch on by sending the WI ladies to L.A. for an appearance on The Tonight Show.

A strong cast includes Helen Mirren and Julie Walters along with a plethora of Brit actors from stage and screen. The story is one that, while unique and unexpected, audiences should find charming and heartwarming. With support from a major studio in Touchstone, Calendar Girls is a film that has a lot of potential to be a big surprise. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Calendar Girls
Main Cast Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Penelope Wilton
Supporting Cast Annette Crosbie, Philip Glenister, Celia Imrie, John-Paul Macleod
Director Nigel Cole
Screenwriter Juliette Towhidi, Tim Firth
Distributor Touchstone
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Rating PG-13
Running Time 108 minutes
Screen Count 24
Awards Awards page for Calendar Girls
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Calendar Girls
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Gosford Park 1/18/023.40 3.53 658 5161.00 5161.0 41.30 42.93 9.57
Full Monty, The 9/19/973.02 3.96 650 4646.00 5870.8 45.95 60.36 12.82
Billy Elliot 11/10/002.60 2.90 494 5269.00 5669.8 21.99 24.60 7.23



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