She'll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas Review

A group of ordinary women gather at an outward-bound course somewhere in the north of England. Around a table they introduce themselves and what they are hoping to achieve from the week-long activities. There is a mother-and-daughter, an unmarried principal of a girl's school, a couple of housewives and Fran (Julie Walters), a twentysomething woman who likes a laugh, a man and not much commitment. At first, with one exception, they know nothing of one another but over the next week as they climb mountains, leap off bridges and camp out on a hillside in the middle of a gale, they learn much about each other and, in the course of events, themselves.

Should you ever ask of a fairly straight-talking and unreconstructed man his thoughts on women and their feelings, he might say that all they really need is a good shag. Asked about a film on the subject, he'll probably say that he cares not a lot about it but so long as they show their breasts, he'll be happy. Oddly enough, that's the general gist of She'll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas, which is probably more famous for its Julie Walters nude scene than for anything else it offers. Certainly, there's probably a good many thirtysomething men who were quite thankful for Channel 4 in its early days when almost every film, even one as feminist as this one, featured a couple of nude scenes and some very rude and ribald language.

It's hard to write a description of She'll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas without falling back on the, as I have done, "...learning much about themselves" or, "For one of them, things will never be the same again!" Post-The Day Today, it's hard to say such things without sounding like the narrator of its fly-on-the-wall documentary about life in an office, but those kind of platitudes are exactly what this film offers. The viewer can't help but think that, from the moment they enjoy cups of tea and coffee before their first dip in the lake, that they will all change somewhat over the course of the film. Unfortunately, it is as obvious through the course of events. The woman who is most prudish the shower scene early in the film is then one who is bedded first by the handsome gent who helps out with the activities. This doesn't go unnoticed by the rest of the women - the empty bunk is something of a giveaway - leading to feelings of jealousy the next morning and of Fran wanting to pack it all in. There is skinny-dipping, Doreen crying as she hangs on to the side of a mountain not daring to fall the six inches or so that would take her back to the ground and a spinster who, in the manner of a Maeve Binchy novel, confesses to having sex once, not liking it and never doing anything of the like again. The women hug, cry and urge one another to overcome their fears of heights, of water and of sex. Never mind the audience, when the characters in the film tell one another that all they need is a good shag, you suspect that it's a film that's light on ideas.

Julie Walters holds the film together well but is essentially reprising her role from Educating Rita for this film. She's the smart, quick-witted Liverpudlian who holds the team together even when it all gets too much for her and she walks out. However, such is the lack of surprises that when Doreen arrives in a taxi and the gate and tells her to get back inside, one simply nods to say, "Of course!" However, in the light of others finding something about themselves over the week - Anita (Alyson Spiro), having worn her husband's sweater on a camping trips, thinks that divorce is possibly not the answer to her troubles at home - it's left to Fran to admit that beneath her tough exterior, she's both vulnerable and lonely. Given how predictable the rest of the film was, I didn't really expect any different a conclusion.


Like P'tang Yang Kipperbang, this has been badly transferred from the source material within a 4:3 frame at an aspect ratio of 1.43:1. The image is exceptionally soft but with an awful lot of dirt on the print and grain in the frame, so much so that it looks lost beneath the grit and grime on the picture. There is the occasional shot where things look if not good then acceptable but these are few and far between making this a rotten watch on just about everything.

The DD2.0 audio track is a little better but not very much so. Dialogue can get lost on a track that sounds a little too bass-heavy with one having to resort to the subtitles to work out what it is that's being said. Or it may be that it's just a very blustery-sounding DVD that the finer points of the original soundtrack, if there were any, are simply lost in a poor transfer. Finally, there are English subtitles.


There are no extras on this DVD release of She'll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas.

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