Sunday, March 27, 2011

HOME SWEET HOME (1982) - Mike Leigh

Who knew postmen got so much action? True, you probably wouldn't want the type of action postman Stan gets-- dreary middle-aged laundromat loiterers and other postmen's wives. Nor does Timothy Spall's postman Gordon get to enjoy his youthful joie de vivre with his weight-obsessed better half constantly hen-pecking him that he's fat. As for postman Harold, he consoles himself with bad jokes and the telly, blissfully ignorant that Stan's schtupping his wife while he does his daily delivery route.

After the plot-free drudgery of Grown Ups, Home Sweet Home was a welcome bit of working-class intrigue. Yes, the intrigue involves adultery performed rather laconically during postal runs, but you can't look a gift horse in the choppers. Then there's the subplot of Stan's depressed daughter rotting away in a social home while he philanders and forgets to visit her. So it's not all fun and games. All in all, a solid triptych of intertwined stories. For maximum mail order effect, pair with Bukowski's Post Office.

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