Caravaning with Eaton

Where's this food I'm ravishing - Florence

Bob Monkhouse and Leslie Phillips in A Weekend with Lulu (1961)

Tim (Leslie Phillips) is a very lucky man as he is dating the attractive Deirdre Proudfoot (Shirley Eaton), the only trouble is that her mother, Florence (Irene Handl) , doesn't think that he is the right man for her. It is why he has paid his friend Fred (Bob Monkhouse) not only for the use of his caravan "Lulu" but has talked him in to taking them and the caravan down to the coast in his ice-cream van. Unfortunately for Tim Florence has decided to come along for the weekend which doesn't get off to the best of starts when a short cut Tim suggests puts them in the middle of a forest in a storm and things only get worse when they wake up the next morning and find themselves in France.

After having a mini binge on old British comedies I will admit I was growing a little jaded by the experience but thankfully I finished that binge with "A Weekend with Lulu" which in this case is a caravan rather than a singer. And the simple reason why I was thankful is that where a lot of the old British comedies I watched had relied on the actors delivering comical characters based on what they were well known for "A Weekend with Lulu" thrives on the comical situation of ending up in France, having no idea where in France they are, no money and any plans for romance scuppered even before the weekend started thanks to Deirdre's mother tagging along. Yes that does mean what we get is no more than a comedy full of mistakes and mishaps but it works.

Shirley Eaton and Leslie Phillips in A Weekend with Lulu (1961)

Part of the reason is thanks to Bob Monkhouse who does an entertaining job of making Fred a bit of a wheeler dealing Jack the lad who isn't prone to pulling a fast one. And in this case a fast one that often sees Shirley Eaton as Deirdre grabbing various men's attention with her beauty whilst he is up to no good. Thrown in is some good old fashioned moaning from Irene Handl as her mum and that provides plenty of laughs. In fact Leslie Phillips ends up delivering the most typical and surprisingly forgettable performance you might see from him. There is also a cameo from Russ Conway as a pianist which sees him smile and wink a lot as he tickles the ivories in his own highly recognizable style.

What this all boils down to is that "A Weekend with Lulu" is still a lot of fun and certainly more entertaining even now than many an old British comedy.

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