STUDIO: E1 Entertainment
MSRP: $24.98
RATED: Not Rated

  • Nothing

The Pitch

Two British men bond over their dead wives. 

The Humans

Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Joanna Lumley, Ursula Howells and John Light

The Nutshell

A former RAF pilot is stuck in the past. He tells everyone that’ll listen about his glory days in World War II. When his wife dies, he forms a bond with a fellow war veteran. His wife recently died as well and they’re desperately trying to move on. But, how can you move on when the past lords over so much of your life?

The only dose of excitement in the film.

The Lowdown

Reggie Conyngham-Jervis has just lost his wife. Reggie can imagine a life outside of the RAF or without his darling wife. So, he tries to strike up a friendship with a fellow widower. This other man bonds with Reggie over the glory days of World War II. This leads Reggie to give him a job as a domestic at his house. But, this new friend wants to help Reggie beyond that. Especially, when a gold-digger stops by the house to take some of Reggie’s money.

A Rather English Marriage doesn’t fit into any neat category. It’s too easy to dismiss it as British Masterpiece Theater fare. What it does is something that you only see in drama outside of America. It states that men need relationships of various degrees to form a sense of sanity out of the hectic nature of life. That’s such an alien concept for American drama, but it’s a nice approach.

The film reunites Tom Courtenay and Albert Finney for the first time since 1983’s The Dresser. Courtney plays the domestic Roy Southgate as a man that can accept his age and loss maturely. Played against Finney, you get the polar opposities of human experience. Finney is all about station and getting the better things of life. Courtenay had never experience such highs, as the majority of his time after the War was spent as a milkman.

If the BAFTA wins showed us anything, it’s that this film is less of a sob story and more of a vehicle for Courtenay and Finney. The two men show that life takes a great deal out of the elderly. Sometimes, you’re just left with memories and a desperate desire to return to the status quo. Is it healthy? Does it matter? What can you do when your best years are behind you and you’re desperately trying to finish your life with a shred of dignity?

A Rather English Marriage comes to DVD with a rather average offering. The decent A/V Quality is typical for British television productions. But, there are no special features. That kind of sucks, but it’s typical for these British television productions. I would still recommend it.

The Finney is displeased with your attempt at quiet dignity.

The Package


are no supplemental materials on this disc.

England after 70.

7.0 out of 10