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29 October 2014

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Women Talking Dirty
Director: Coky Giedroyc
Helena Bonham Carter, Gina McKee, James Nesbitt, James Purefoy, Richard Wilson, Eileen Atkins,
Kenneth Cranham

97 minutes
Friday 7th December 2001
15 cert camera
Women Talking Dirty
Helena Bonham Carter and James Nesbitt
Isla Dewar's adaptation of her best-selling Scottish novel offers a defiantly grungy view of Cool Britannia that's less interested in clubs and bars than in the difficulties of being a single mum on the dole.
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Cora (Bonham Carter) is a penniless mother of two who decides that she's had enough of men and the trouble they bring. Teaming up with shy cartoonist Ellen (McKee), who's just dumped her swinish boyfriend (Purefoy), Cora decides to grab life by the throat. But with children and a dark secret about the true identity of one of the fathers, life might not be so easy to conquer.

With some very funny scenes between Bonham Carter and the ever-wonderful McKee, plus copious amounts of vodka drinking, "Women Talking Dirty" is an above average relationship drama. It benefits enormously from the chemistry between its two female leads and an excellent supporting cast that includes Richard Wilson, Kenneth Cranham, and the ubiquitous James Nesbitt.

Where the film comes up short is in its lack of originality. There's nothing here that adds anything new to the genre, and the screenplay trots out all of the usual clichés - gay neighbours, a nasty ex-boyfriend, and a rather musty girl power message. There's not the least suspicion that anything less than a happy ending is destined for everyone involved. So, for all its attempts to seem daring, "Women Talking Dirty" is too squeaky clean by far.

"Women Talking Dirty" opens in UK cinemas on Friday 7th December 2001.

Reviewed by Jamie Russell, BBC Films

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