‘Finding Your Feet’: Cute comedy’s senior dancers follow all the familiar steps
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There are so few surprises in “Finding Your Feet,” Richard Loncraine’s film about a snobby woman who Finds Her Soul, that you could do a decent job of plotting out the story during the opening credits. You might miss on some of the specifics, but the overall emotional beats are set in stone.
And yet it’s an enjoyable movie. The cast, let by Imelda Staunton and Celia Imrie, and including Timothy Spall and Joanna Lumley, is so good at pushing past the clichés that they make something out of the film, despite the script’s best efforts to prevent it.
When the film begins Sandra Abbott (Staunton) is bossing around people preparing for a party to honor her husband, Mike, who’s about to gain a title, which will allow Sandra to call herself Lady Abbott — clearly something she’s wanted for a long time.
Until she walks in on her husband and best friend making out in a closet.
So much for the party. Sandra moves out of the palatial home and into the grubby apartment of her all-but-estranged sister Bif (Imrie), the movie version of a free spirit: Her place is a mess, she smokes marijuana, she’s scatterbrained and flits between various causes.
Opposites, you say? Why yes. How convenient. Wonder how that’ll work out?
Sandra’s immediate plans consist of drinking heavily. But Bif’s gregarious personality eventually wins her over, and they go to a senior dance class. At first reluctant, Sandra eventually comes around to love it. This isn’t a spoiler. It’s an inevitability.
Sandra meets Charlie (Spall), one of Bif’s stable of colorful friends. Disheveled, a handyman, down to earth, he’s everything Mike was not.
He’s also married. His wife has Alzheimer’s and no longer recognizes him. He’s attracted to Sandra, but he agonizes about the situation. This is the one bit of genuine emotion in the film, and Spall is terrific.
Actually, everyone is. Staunton doesn’t shy away from the more unattractive elements of Sandra’s character, which makes it a little more OK when she turns into a soft touch. Imrie’s got the most thankless role, but she’s sparkling.
Good thing. If the cast wasn’t so talented and so committed to doing some heavy lifting, “Finding Your Feet” would be a gigantic misstep. Thanks to this crew, it’s not.
Roadside Attractions presents a film directed by Richard Loncraine and written by Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft. Rated PG-13 (for suggestive material, brief drug use, and brief strong language). Running time: 111 minutes. Opens Friday at local theaters.