Brit chick flick School For Seduction is a shamelessly crowd-pleasing comedy with more than enough charm to compensate for its lightweight nature. In her first starring role, Kelly Brook is surprisingly convincing as an Italian beauty who sets up an "Academy of Seductive Arts" in Newcastle. She's aided by a fine cast, including newcomer Jessica Johnson, who steals the show as a ballsy checkout girl with more mouth than the Tyne.
Sue Heel's movie may start with a quote by Simone De Beauvoir ("One is not born but becomes a woman"), but that's as far as its literary pretensions go. Thereafter it's a raucous, warm-hearted comedy where the laughs are primarily at the expense of emotionally retarded men (there's another kind?).
"THE RAREST OF BRITISH MOVIES"
We're encouraged - no, forced - to root for a group of women with self-esteem issues: single mum Kelly (the ever-dependable Emily Woof) has to work night and day to support her stroppy teenage daughter (there's another kind?); sister Donna (Johnson) works alongside her at the local superstore; Irene (Margi Clarke) is another colleague, battering fish and her husband's ego at the neighbourhood chippy.
White collar Clare (Dervla Kirwan) may be a step up the social ladder but she's trapped in a loveless marriage to Craig (Neil Stuke), a car fanatic who thinks more of his Ferrari's chassis than his wife's. Self-improvement beckons, though, when the women enroll at the Italian Academy of Seduction, run by the mysterious Sophia Rossellini (Brook). Here life lessons will be learned by everyone, including teacher...
Providing you go in expecting a working class comedy that dispenses feminism for dummies, School For Seduction won't disappoint. Although it would work equally well on the small screen, it's also the rarest of British movies: one aimed primarily at women. The Full Monty for girls - howay the lasses.