Charming in Disguise

Mary Tyler Moore in Blessings (2003)

When Charles 'Skip' Cuddy (Liam Waite) drove his friends to pick up beer he never realised they were going to rob the place and when he was caught he ended up serving time whilst refusing to rat them out. Fortunately for Skip when he is released he meets crotchety Lydia Blessing (Mary Tyler Moore) who needs a handyman having just fired her last one. Fortunately Lydia is not bothered about his past, unlike her maid Jennifer (China Chow) who dislikes Skip having been at school with him. But a series of events; firstly a baby being left on the estate and then Skip's past threaten to ruin the new life he is building for himself.

Pretty much every picture I have seen of Mary Tyler Moore is of her in her younger years and as such the first thing to hit you is how she looks as Lydia Blessings with cold eyes and a bitterness which grips her whole body from the way she speaks to the way she moves. And it is perfect because not only does it convince as an older woman but it allows for plenty of depth as through flashbacks we learn about her past, the mistakes which have led to her bitterness whilst also allows for some lovely light as events lead her to times of softness.

Liam Waite in Blessings (2003)

The thing is that whilst Mary Tyler Moore certainly plays her part well and Liam Waite delivers plenty of nice guy appeal the actual storyline which deals with not only events in Lydia's past but also the difficulties Skip faces in the present just didn't grip me. It isn't that it is a dull story or without its touching and charming moments but it is the kind of storyline which drifts along, often feeling like it is meandering before once in a while delivering a scene which grabs your attention. To put it simply this is one of those sleepy Sunday afternoon types of movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Blessings" is a movie you really need to be in the right mood for, that sleepy sort of drama mood where you don't mind that for long periods nothing seems to happen. But if you are in the right mood it has a real charming side which is going to make you smile.

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