Off the Rails

Not all films have to be life changing. Some can just make you smile and feel good. Such is the case for Jules Williamson’s (first feature film) Off the Rails. It stars a cast which ranges from youthful to capable to amazing (Judi Dench). The story is one that is not especially original yet totally enjoyable. Then there is the fun of a road trip and the beauty of several European locations. Oh, and as an added bonus the entire soundtrack features songs by Blondie.

Three long-time friends are brought back together after a period apart. What brings them together is not a happy occurrence. Rather it is a sad one when one of the old gang dies. At Anna’s (Andrea Corr – Evita, The Commitments) funeral service her mother Diana (Judi Dench – Skyfall, Shakespeare in Love) gives the three remaining friends an envelope her daughter wanted them to have. What is inside is a note telling them that her dying wish from her own friends is for them to embark on the rail trip they did in their youth but this time see the beautiful cathedral of Santa Maria in Mallorca in time for the sun striking the beautiful stained glass window  Oh, and also bring along her teenage daughter, Maddie (Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips – first feature film). They have five days to get there.

Though the fifty-something women were the closest of friends, there has been a lot of water which has flowed under the bridge. As the trip goes on those old wounds open up again and Kate (Jenny Seagrove – The Guardian), Liz (Sally Phillips – Bridget Jones’s Diary, Ferdinand) and Cassie (Kelly Preston – For the Love of the Game, Jerry Maguire) are at each other’s throats. The fighting leads to the goal of the trip being in jeopardy.

A light film which is perfect to watch on a Sunday afternoon when the weather outside is frightful. It is an easy watch. One you can do whilst completing a crossword puzzle or knitting. In other words, it does not require your complete attention. Kind of like a film that appears on tv. A film which often airs on networks like W Network. Light, fluffy with a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure.

What really makes it worthwhile is the fact that it features women of a certain age. An age which is often ignored in film. Middle-aged women. Not many films feature that age. More need to be made. It is as important an age as any.

Off the Rails is available now on VOD/Digital platforms.

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