Home Sweet Home

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Stan (Eric Richard), Gordon (Timothy Spall), and Harold (Tim Barker) are postmen who work together as they sort the mail each morning before they go on their rounds. They chat a little about their home lives, and Harold tells terrible riddles and recites song lyrics in a monotone. Harold dotes on his wife, June (Su Elliot), but she's clearly an unhappy woman, and is constantly telling him to leave her alone. Gordon's house is on Stan's route, so Gordon tells his wife, Hazel (Kay Stonham), to invite Stan in for tea when he comes around. She does, but the vivacious woman seems to have more than tea on her mind as she gives Stan a tour of the house, with an emphasis on the bedroom. She suggests that Stan come by for Sunday dinner some time. An overbearingly cheerful social worker, Melody (Frances Barber of Sammy and Rosie Get Laid), shows up at Stan's door and harangues him into spending more time with his estranged teenage daughter, Tina (Lorraine Brunning). Tina's been in foster care for years, ever since Stan's wife ran off. Stan is a busy man, chatting up his co-workers' wives and picking up women at the launderette, but eventually he makes time for a visit. Encouraged by this progress, Melody coerces Stan into bringing Tina home for a weekend. He decides to bring her over to dinner at Gordon and Hazel's, and it soon devolves into a horrific evening, made all the more awkward by an unexpected visit from June. Home Sweet Home, "devised" and directed by Mike Leigh, was originally shown as part of the BBC's Play for Today series. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

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