Dial M for Malick
Audrey Brandon (Wendie Malick) and husband Michael (Barclay Hope) have just celebrated their 30th anniversary together, unfortunately it will be their last as Michael tells Audrey that he is leaving her for a younger woman. But that is not the only reason it will be their last as a few months later Michael is found murdered on the kitchen floor and Audrey is the prime suspect as she will inherit everything. With the police telling her that following the funeral they will be arresting her, Audrey goes on the run to try and clear her name, dodging the police as they are hot on her trail. As Audrey's investigation churns up a list of suspects it also brings her back in to touch with former lover David (Gregory Harrison) and re-igniting the old spark.
If the casting of Wendie Malick isn't an obvious enough signal I will tell you; whilst "After All These Years" may serve up a typical story of an estranged wife trying to clear her name for the murder of her husband it is not really about who done it but all about the comedy. An example of which is when Audrey trips over her estranged husbands dead body and then straddles him to try and pull the kitchen knife out of his chest. It is a daft scene but works thanks to Wendie Malick whose skill for visual comedy is spot on.
The thing is that whilst there is the question of who murdered Michael and Audrey's investigations whilst on the run are amusing as are the police coming after her it is as I said all about the comedy, the daftness of Audrey's investigations. Yes we do have a surprise when it comes to whose Audrey's investigations lead her to suspect but it is the comedy of who it is which makes it fun rather than dramatic which is usually the norm for a movie with this sort of storyline.
Now I could keep on singing Wendie Malick's praises as she is the reason why "After All These Years" is enjoyable but there is a good supporting cast. Garry Chalk as Detective Mulligan is a lot of fun as he humours Audrey whilst Gregory Harrison is charming and amusing as David. But to sound like a broken record it is Malick who makes the movie and in many ways brings up to date the sort of comedy which 30 years earlier would have starred the likes of Goldie Hawn and Shelley Long.
What this all boils down to is that "After All These Years" is an amusing distraction and a wonderful showcase for the talents of Wendie Malick. But it is the sort of movie where if you don't enjoy Malick's brand of comedy you might find cheesy even though I don't know how you couldn't enjoy Malick's brand of easy going comedy.