Toilet Humour

Sheridan Smith in Powder Room (2013)

Sam (Sheridan Smith) wants more from her life than a 9 to 5 job and then hitting the club with her girl friends where getting lucky is getting it on with a guy in the bushes. It is why when she meets up with a couple of college friends who are back over from France she goes to the club with them as they seem to have the life she wants. But embarrassed by her own life Sam lies to them about it, claiming to be in a relationship and a lawyer. But when her usual friends lead by Chanel (Jaime Winstone) show up Sam finds herself in a mess as the night unravels as she tries to keep her real life and the lies she has been telling her college friends separate.

I have on occasion used the term "chick flick" to describe a movie and to be honest I don't like the phrase because some "chick flicks" can appeal to a wider audience than intended. But after enduring the 86 minutes of "Powder Room" I have no qualms about calling this a "chick flick" which I am convinced you need to be a woman to enjoy and ever appreciate. I am not a woman and I endured "Powder Room" to the end and wondered how many other guys had watched this and found it extremely hard going.

Jaime Winstone in Powder Room (2013)

Now the set up to "Powder Room" is simple with Sam pretending to be something she isn't to impress her college friends and in doing so putting her real friends noses out of joint and of course she learns an important lesson by the time the movie ends, which I will say now was the best part for me. As such we have the humour of Sam trying to juggle her two groups of friends and spending the majority of the evening in the toilets.

But whilst there is this story of Sam what we get is this snapshot of ladies toilet culture in a night club. As such you have the rich mocking the tacky, the tacky talking about shagging, underage girls putting on make up because they think it makes them look older, drug taking, cottaging, puking, girls in fancy dress and lots and lots of screaming. Now maybe all these things happen in the ladies toilets at a night club as a bloke who has never experienced it, it wasn't funny, engaging or entertaining and if it wasn't for the fact that both Sheridan Smith and Jaime Winstone are likeable it would have been unwatchable. To put this in context the biggest impact this movie made on me which wasn't a negative was a musical ending featuring Johnnie Fiori who plays the washroom attendant.

What this all boils down to is that "Powder Room" was not for me and I wouldn't be surprised if other men who watch this end up feeling exactly the same as I did. But maybe it comes across better for women who have experienced the washroom culture of a nightclub who can recognize all the things thrown into the movie.

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