Very Annie-Mary | Chicago Reader

Very Annie-Mary

Critics lambasted this 2001 British comedy by Sara Sugarman, zeroing in on its treacly plot, but its unstable mix of sentimentality and wild, often grotesque slapstick suggests Jerry Lewis at his deranged peak. Rachel Griffiths plays the title character, a gooney Welshwoman forced to care for her abusive father (Jonathan Pryce) after he suffers a stroke; she's been stifling her ambitions as a classical soprano since her mother died years earlier, though she seems most talented at getting smacked in the face with swinging doors. Sugarman's gags are so relentless and so zestfully rude—at one point the disabled father rolls down a flight of stairs, and the townspeople are raising funds to send a dying girl to Disneyland against her will—that the pathos seems well earned. 100 min.

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