Film & Television

Finding Your Feet:
Stupendous Cast Dances Through Retiree Rom-Com

Timothy Spall, a spectacular actor who nevertheless has to earn the prize as least likely to play the hero in a romantic comedy, is Charlie. He has no patience for Sandra’s artifice, but we eventually learn that he has his own secrets. It’s great fun watching Spall. Cast often as complicated and even villainous characters (like David Irving, Hitler apologist and Holocaust denier in 2016’s Denial), he woos and eventually wins his lady. (And sorry, that is by no means a spoiler. You’ll predict the happily-ever-after midway through this movie — if it takes you that long.)

The supporting cast, particularly Joanna Lumley (Ab Fab) as fellow dancer and serial divorcee Jackie, and David Hayman as sentimental widower Ted, is solid. John Sessions and Marianne Oldham are believable as Sandra’s philandering husband and sympathetic daughter. Indra Ové is ebullient as the dance instructor. And Josie Lawrence, sadly, is wasted as Mike’s mistress Pamela. In 1996, I had the thrill of seeing Lawrence play Kate in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Stratford production of Taming of the Shrew. She’s what one might call a “national treasure.”

That may be another reason why English films, even fairly lightweight ones like Finding Your Feet, so often exceed expectations. Actors there move smoothly from movies to television to stage. There seem to be less of a pecking order and less pigeonholing. Imrie, for example, was playing daughter Goneril in a West End production of King Lear (with gender-bending Glenda Jackson in the lead) at night while she was making Finding Your Feet by day. Bif would certainly have approved.

Finding Your Feet really doesn’t break new ground. It relies on a tried-and-true romantic comedy set-up, which with only minor adjustments could work with a much younger (and more gravity-defying) cast. I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much.

The fact that the characters are in their 60s or 70s is incidental. It’s less about finding love later in life and more about just opening yourself up to love — and life — period.

Alas, Finding Your Feet is a good, not great, movie. But with its stupendous cast, international settings, and feel-good message, you’ll leave the theater with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.


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