A comedy that took me a while to see until, while on a trip, I found it streaming on Showtime (which I don’t personally have), our latest add to archive review is an interesting one. This is a review of Blithe Spirit.
Blithe Spirit (2020) Film Review
Moving on with life hasn’t been easy for Charles Condomine (Dan Stevens). He lost his wife, but then found Ruth (Isla Fisher), and remarried. The trouble is, five years in and they’re in a place where they don’t invest in their marriage and instead, Charles is consumed with writing the script he must turn in or his career is finished. In love with Charles, Ruth has always felt a little on the outside and that his first wife is his real love. In the hopes of helping him creatively, and not just with her father’s connections, Ruth hires a spiritualist (Judi Dench).
Though her intentions are good in hosting this night with their friends, Ruth sets off a chain of events that summons the spirit of Elvira (Leslie Man), Charles’ first wife.‘BLITHE SPIRIT’: A PERIOD COMEDY ALL ABOUT SASSY SPIRITS 👻 #DANSTEVENS STARS AS A STRUGGLING WRITER. #ISLAFISHER #COMEDY #MOVIES #LESLIEMANN Click To Tweet
Period drama movies that try their hand at silly comedy have a kind of “risk” attachment. At least this is true of whether I’ll enjoy. This label applies to Blithe Spirit. When I read about it, probably over a year ago, I did want to see this. Mostly because of Dan Stevens (who is from Downton Abbey). However, that didn’t happen until I ran across it on Showtime. Naturally, I took a chance and the opportunity to see.
The film is admittedly quite funny. At least early on. There’s a sense of absurdity and yet, through it all, I root on Charles and Ruth. Always hoping they’ll rediscover each other, especially since Dan and Isla play the characters well; and he does love Ruth. It’s nice to have that distinction and feel “good” about them together. Of course, spoiler alert, Charles does fall pretty to Elvira before realizing that she’s isn’t “it” which I’m glad he realizes. Still, this leads into the ending, which is kind of sad.
The ending is really not where it’s at. I mean it does align with the kind of zany nature of the film and for that, I guess I cannot fault it. Nonetheless, there is something lacking in the film and for me, I think it really leads back to the ending. Much of this film, in terms of styling and comedy brand, reminds me of something like Easy Virtue. The humor is just so absurd sometimes it misses the mark even if it does make me giggle, too. It’s just that silly. Based on the Noël Coward comedy, this isn’t a “normal” and fun period comedy. Long story short, if you like that style of period drama or just want something that goes against the usual happy ending, you may find Blithe Spirit something worth seeing.
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Find Blithe Spirit digitally to buy on Amazon or find it streaming with Showtime.
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Content: there is sexual innuendo including the idea that someone is intimate with someone who is not their spouse. There is some cheeky humor too and a woman tries to have sex with someone while in a tipsy state. A commonplace profanity or two may creep in. There is much conversation about spirits and characters die from being murdered. The film is PG-13.
Photos: IFC Films / StudioCanal UK