Yootha Joyce and Brian Murphy in George and Mildred (1980)

The Roper's Wet Weekend

It's that time of year when George (Brian Murphy) and Mildred Roper (Yootha Joyce) celebrate their wedding anniversary and after being reminded by the neighbour's son that tomorrow is his wedding anniversary George quickly arranges a trip down memory lane to where he and Mildred had their first date. Of course things don't go to plan and so Mildred ends up getting her way as they head to a posh London hotel for a weekend. But things again don't go to plan when in a case of mistaken identity George is mistaken for a hitman and unwittingly ends up involved with some gangsters.

Maybe it is down to my age but for some reason I remember the characters from 70s British sitcoms so clearly yet I rarely ever watched them. Take the Ropers, I never really watched "Man About the House" or their own spin-off sitcom "George & Mildred" yet Brian Murphy and Yootha Joyce were so well known as George & Mildred that you didn't need to have watched their sitcom to be aware of them. For that reason I had better say that I don't know how "George and Mildred" compares to the sitcom although I have a feeling that to stop it feeling like a drawn out episode they tried to do something a bit different because what I remember of the original sitcom it was like a forerunner to "Keeping Up Appearances" with comedy built around Mildred trying to put on heirs & graces.

Unfortunately by trying to feel different to the sitcom "George and Mildred" ends up feeling generic with this comedy built on mistaken identity as George is mistaken for a hitman during his wedding anniversary stay at a London hotel. Whilst George is dealing with being mistaken for a hitman Mildred finds herself being charmed by a handsome Spanish businessman which the minute it sets this up you can already envision George's reaction if he catches Mildred with another man. It makes "George and Mildred" one of those movie spin-offs which might appeal to those who remain loyal fans and long for a return to the past and the humour of the 70s. But trust me when I say that 70s British humour is an acquired taste and if you are not use to it you do wonder how anyone could find some of it funny.

The saving grace when it comes to "George and Mildred" is the simple fact that Brian Murphy and Yootha Joyce were great together and could make some of the cheesiest comedy work. Unfortunately before this was released Yootha Joyce passed away of liver failure due to her secret alcoholism and when you watch this now you get a sense that something wasn't right as her vitality, that snappiness and quick wit had gone from her performance, in essence she looked tired throughout this movie.

What this all boils down to is that "George and Mildred" is a bit of a trip down memory lane for those who remember the comedies of the 70s. But at the same time this movie spin-off feels incredibly generic with an uninspiring comedy built around a case of mistaken identity.

Tags: British TV Shows & Their Movies