Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

In Military Wives, a group of women whose partners are away serving in Afghanistan form a choir, and quickly find themselves at the center of a media sensation and global movement.

Courtesy of LevelFilm

  • Military Wives
  • Directed by Peter Cattaneo
  • Written by Rosanne Flynn and Rachel Tunnard
  • Starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Sharon Horgan and Jason Flemyng
  • Classification PG; 112 minutes

rating

2 out of 4 stars

There is a wide gulf between giving audiences what they want and what they need. The new film Military Wives opts for the former, so much so that screenwriters Rosanne Flynn and Rachel Tunnard must have started their script with the word “crowd-pleaser” and worked their way up from there, although not by much.

In this tale of strong, working-class Brits becoming stronger together, Military Wives aims for all the expected keep-calm-and-carry-on notes of the British cinematic genre I’m going to christen Can-Do Comedy. It’s the type of film that was birthed with 1997′s The Full Monty, which shares a director with Military Wives in Peter Cattaneo – as well as a flat, incurious sensibility that lacks any hint of complexity in the layers of its world or the inner lives of its characters.

Story continues below advertisement

Directed by Peter Cattaneo, the film lacks any hint of complexity in the layers of its world or the inner lives of its characters.

Courtesy of LevelFilm

Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan, two performers who deserve far more than they’re afforded here, star as the opposite philosophical ends of a British military base. Both have husbands serving overseas in Afghanistan, both have some family issues they’re repressing and both have differing approaches as to how the corp’s lonely spouses should pass the time. I’ll leave it to you to guess who might be the prim and proper authoritarian, and who might be the raucous rogue. Just as I won’t ask you to venture into how the women’s group, which eventually settles on forming a choir, fare once they’re asked to perform in London.

There is so little surprise here, and so little effort into at least maintaining the façade of invention, that you might as just well sit down and write the narrative beats yourself. For Queen and country, then.

Military Wives is available digitally on-demand starting May 22

Plan your screen time with the weekly What to Watch newsletter. Sign up today.

Related topics

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies