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500 Five-Star: Belles of St Trinians (1954)

February 23, 2013

I am quite hard to please when it comes to comedy films.  I don’t watch comedy blockbusters all that often, and so when I do choose one, it’s because I expect a lot from it.  Then, of course, I invariably end up disappointed, because the combination of my too-high expectations and the fact that really good comedy is extremely bloody tough to create means that pleasing me is nigh on impossible.  The only film I remember actually LOL-ing (yes, I said LOL-ing) at in the last couple of years is Bridesmaids, and even that was only one or two times (though, admittedly, one of those times, my husband had to pause the DVD because I actually couldn’t breathe.  When I do laugh, I go for it wholeheartedly).  I watch more low-key comedies much more often, the types of which are more gently amusing, and subtle in their humour.  I don’t feel a pressure to emit a large belly laugh, and in the end, the experience is all the funnier for that.

Belles of St Trinians is a combination of the two types described above: the subtle, gently comedy, and the ridiculous, farcical, begging-for-laughs comedy.   And sadly, for me, it failed drastically in both ways.  I wasn’t carried away by the silly moments, nor tickled by the overall ‘amusing’ tone.  Maybe it’s a generational thing, or maybe I’m just too simple to appreciate the complexities of the Ealing mode of humour, but I was bored, longing for the thing to end so I could get back to my life.  What’s strange, though, is that I feel like I could have been amused by it.  It was so silly that it could have worked, should have worked…and it’s very possible that in another medium, such as a book, I might have been hugely entertained.  It just didn’t come together for me as a film.  And given that Belles of St Trinians is a film that is regarded so fondly by so many people, I find that quite a shame.


A film that neither entertained me, not gave me much to admire.  However, because I was at least able to watch it to the end without being filled with gutwrenching hatred, I’ll still give it…


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