We're in coastal Cornwall, where Grace (Blethyn) is shocked by her husband's accidental death. But that's nothing compared to the next surprise: He's left her heavily indebted to virtually everyone. So in a moment of desperation, she and her handyman Matthew (Ferguson) decide to grow a batch of hemp to make some quick money. Soon the entire town is complicit in Grace's secret ... and then the drug dealers and bankers descend from London.
There are some excellent scenes throughout the film, inspired bits of light comedy that work wonders and bring out the quirkiness of the setting without relying on small-town cliches. Blethyn and Ferguson are, of course, superb in the central roles, with nice support from the likes of Edmund (as Matthew's worried, pregnant girlfriend), Clunes (the hapless town doctor), Sturrock (their nervous friend), et al. Cole's direction is nothing terribly special, but he handles the scenes effectively and nicely captures the natural beauty. And he at least keeps things bright and funny when the story gets a bit too complicated and corny (not just Cornish) at the end, which is a rather shameless copout. Satisfying yes, but not nearly as clever as what went before.
[15--themes, language, drugs] 23.Mar.00
UK release 19.May.00; US release 4.Aug.00
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