Life Is Sweet (1990)

Original Title : Life Is Sweet
Director : Mike Leigh
Writer : Mike Leigh
Genre : Comedy
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : Simon Channing-Williams
Music : Rachel Portman
Photography : Dick Pope
IMDB ID : 0100024
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poster for "Life Is Sweet" by Mike Leigh (1990)
Life Is Sweet (1990) - Mike Leigh


Alison Steadman Wendy
Jim Broadbent Andy
Claire Skinner Natalie
Jane Horrocks Nicola
Stephen Rea Patsy
Timothy Spall Aubrey, Regret Rien Owner
David Thewlis Nicola's Lover
Moya Brady Paula, Aubrey's Cook
David Neilson Steve the Plumber
Harriet Thorpe Bunnikins' Customer
Paul Trussel Chef where Andy Works
Jack Thorpe Baker Nigel


Just north of London live Wendy, Andy, and their twenty-something twins, Natalie and Nicola. Wendy clerks in a shop, leads aerobics at a primary school, jokes like a vaudevillian, agrees to waitress at a friend's new restaurant and dotes on Andy, a cook who forever puts off home remodeling projects, and with a drunken friend, buys a broken down lunch wagon. Natalie, with short neat hair and a snappy, droll manner, is a plumber, she has a holiday planned in America, but little else. Last is Nicola, odd man out: a snarl, big glasses, cigarette, mussed hair, jittery fingers, bulimic, jobless, and unhappy. How they interact and play out family conflict and love is the film's subject.


Beautiful I'm starting to think that Mike Leigh could make a story about boring people (like me) posting reviews online and make it and them interesting. I don't think I'm being overly sentimental when I say that, sometimes we need films that show us that, on the whole, people are good and trying to do the best they can in a difficult world. I don't see many directors who are willing to show us flawed characters who fight through difficulties with heart and humor and work things out without the aid of some ridiculous device. Leigh is brave enough, creative enough and has enough respect for his audience to show us, in Life is Sweet, that sometimes caring and patience with those we love is our only chance and what we are generally stuck with anyway.
poster for "Life Is Sweet"
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Life Is Sweet (1990) - Mike Leigh