Tea With the Dames (Nothing Like a Dame) Reviews
However, to be honest, the film got off to a disjointed start and there were some awkward moments as well. But things went much smoother as it progressed and there was also some laugh out loud humor. Like Judi Dench's hilarious description of how she called the paramedics when she was bitten by a bee in the backside and the very young EMT tech asked if she had a carer (in the USA a home aide) how she became furious and told him to "f-off".
Overall, director Roger Michell's questions to the four actresses from the wings as the film rolled did not work well, But just to see and hear these grand Dames together was worth the price of admission to me.
Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Maggie Smith have no problem making fun of the Dame title but they are at the same time proud of it and having it presented to them by either Queen Elizabeth or Prince Phillip.
The 4 ladies have no problem 'dishing' themselves, each other, their husbands, their co-stars, sometimes their work but they are very respectful of the theatre, more so than the movies or television they have done.
The 4 women get together every year at Plowright's Sussex home, where she lived with Laurence Olivier, to hear what each has been up to and some of the past. We see snippets of film from past experiences only making us hungry for more just as we want more of their reminiscing of the various mediums they played in and talk about why some succeeded and others didn't.
Plowright, now blind, and Atkins may not be as well known as Dench and Smith but all are given equal time to talk about their looks, or lack of them, when they started, though nothing is referred regarding the #METOO so prevalent today while the casting couch was part of the norm when they entered the theatre world, let alone the world of film.
Instead of drinking water or tea and a toast of champagne at the end, it would have been a lot more fun if it had been reversed though all 4 Dames don't hold back in expressing their feelings nor letting their laughs come through whether laughing at themselves or each other.
Hopefully there is another hour or two that was filmed of "Tea With the Dames" and will be released on the DVD version but don't miss this just in case!